Galactic Gifts3 mins 170 3 mins 170
|That was an interesting planet", Walka thought, "especially the people. Very much like what we used to be".
Her spacecraft had just left the planet Talkerin, where she had come really close to a group of natives, dressed in their skins and wielding their clubs and torches, aggressively at first. However as they realised she was not intending to threaten them, they had relaxed a bit, but not really very much.
Far away on Talkarin, Ama-Ru and his partner, Sirin looked at the shiny metal disc in the sky, where the strange she-animal with a metal cover had come out of, and now was rapidly returning to wherever she came from. Any minute now, the disc would no longer be visible.
Walka settled down into her seat, now that the tension of liftoff had been resolved and thought through the last 30 minutes. Well 30 minutes on her planet anyway. It seemed like a lot more on Talkarin. After their initial hostility and distance, the natives had got friendly and even tried communicating with her. It was frustrating because she could understand them, via the teletranslator, but they could not. Their technologies were positively primitive. In fact, aside from fire they seemed to have nothing by way of technology.
"Look at our boy" they had pointed at him with pride, "he can run faster than a lion. And will take care of us when we are old".
She smiled, interested at having found a civilisation that had not yet solved for old age.
A shadow fell across the woman's face, "but he is unwell right now".
Walka looked at him. A cheerful looking boy, but she sensed the bacteria inside his blood. Her vision analyser quickly told her that at the level of technology on this planet, it would be fatal. He would not last more than another 12 hours. The illness itself may not kill him, but it would weaken his reflexes, and the next tiger or hyena to sight him would find hiim easier to pull down.
She recoiled at the image and wondered if she could do something.
"Actions have consequences", the words of her guru resounded in her brain, "your charity could be poison to someone else".
But I can't leave him to die, she thought.
She picked him up. His father growled and lifted a spear. His mother looked at him and her with interest, and indicated to her man to be patient.
A small needle shot out from her arm and entered his forearm. It was thick as animal hide and the needle nearly broke, but managed to empty its contents into him.
There, she smiled. He will survive. And thrive.
She had injected him with imagination and optimism.
She had left soon after, sensing their gratitude. They did not understand what she had done but knew that it was something to make their child better. He was already talking a lot more.
She thought for a minute about the negative consequences of what she had done. The combination of imagination and optimism would make him think of new things, bigger and better things. Technology, even.
She kicked herself. What she had not given him was restraint. Technology unbridled would take over the planet and destroy it.
Too late, she thought. The guru was right, as he always is.
And all she could do, as her craft flew rapidly away, was to hope that the destruction that technology would bring to this fragile planet, would still be some distance away in the future.
She waved her right hand, a little forlorn, a little hopeful.