The Blue Planet

 /   /  By Emma Birches
Stone Soup Magazine
October 2018

By Arabella McClendon, Art by Hannah Parker

Captain Vistyz Stausk paced the command center of her ship. It had been her father’s ship, but he had passed onto the next multiverse a Sastorian year ago. Captain Stausk missed Sastorus, but she missed her father more, and thus stayed with his ship.

She had been given a commission to either find and destroy or rehabilitate particularly malignant species. Sastorus and its brother planet, Castea, had been attacked by an unknown entity that left as quickly as it destroyed. This was one of the more far-reaching and broader missions to stop both their attackers and the general malice in the universe. So far, they hadn’t disintegrated anyone, but they also hadn’t found any civilization that didn’t need serious help. The crew’s morale was low and what they needed just then was to come across a kind and loving race that they could ally with. They seemed to be in luck, as Captain Stausk’s co-captain, Naeq, came in with a report: “Smallish blue planet off the starboard side. Looks to be inhabited. Should I organize a scouting party?”

Captain Stausk thought for a minute before replying.

“No, just set up gear and a landing pod for us two.”

 

~20 minutes later~

 

Vistyz and Naeq unboxed the high-tech, to-be-reserved-for-special-missions, highly-adaptable camouflage suits for the seventh time that voyage. They lamented their one-size-fits-all label as they squeezed their six limbs inside and climbed into a two-person landing pod. As they sat in the dark interior of the white, bubble-shaped contraption, hurtling towards the little blue planet, they both thought about how wonderful it would be if the inhabitants were nice. How perfectly lovely it would be if they could negotiate an alliance. How highly likely it was, based on the laws of statistics. Sadly, they were wrong.

The first thing the two noticed was that the planet was divided up into nations, each with a different language and different customs. Of course, though they would be much stronger united as a whole planet, they had to be forgiven for this fault because of the language barrier. Yet another thing they noticed within their first “week” (a term used to describe seven days on that planet) was that most of the world’s leaders were power-hungry and corrupt. They didn’t work together peacefully, as would have been best for all on the planet; instead, they squabbled among themselves childishly. Many of the humanoid inhabitants were without basic necessities, while others had an almost disgusting surplus of material wealth and currency. The planet itself was polluted and littered, which took its toll upon the flora and fauna, which had done nothing wrong. Even worse, some beings were considered less than or more than other beings simply because of trivial surface traits! And when Vistyz and Naeq began to perform experiments of moral character and look into the minds and psychologies of many, they found irresponsibility, avarice, malice, and many more things. Captain and co-captain were saddened by the fact that so many vibrant cultural traditions and kind, loving people were overshadowed by the much larger amount of bad.

Back aboard the ship, Vistyz called a meeting with all of her advisors, counselors, friends, and trusted allies. They argued about the fate of the planet for many earth days, talking in turns, sitting in reflection, screaming at each other, and then laughing about it afterwards. Finally, they came to the conclusion that they could neither destroy, nor heal, this planet. There was too much wrong and sadness to be fixed by an outside force, but the goodness and kindness was enough that it could not be destroyed. So, they isolated it: they placed a special barrier around it, preventing interaction with any other planets or societies until the good in this planet became enough to destroy the barrier. They had a chance to change.

And so Captain Vistyz and her ship went on its way, but this violent little planet, violently good and bad, had left its impression on many. Some were significantly saddened by the wrong and the dirty, but others were uplifted by the good and clean and pure they had seen there. Many were confused, others convinced that they had done the right thing.

All would remember it.

The Blue Planet Arabella McClendon

Arabella McClendon, 13
Racine,WI

Hannah Parker Window to Another World

Hannah Parker, 13
Burlington, VT

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