Captain Normath by Larry Folwell
SUMMARY: Critique at will, please!
"Captain Normath please reconsider," pleads Dr. Salgor emphatically, "while the indigenes of this planet do not meet the requirements for intelligence uplift, they do satisfactorily meet all the requirements to justify isolation. The fossil record demonstrates above average evolutionary change. Any one of these species might develop intelligence naturally. In the meantime, the magnificent size and diversity of these indigenes will generate mountains of tourist revenue!"
"Another zoo Dr. Salgor?" questions Captain Normath. "Have cold-blooded, egg laying species ever been found that developed intelligence? Must I remind you of the purpose for our journey?"
Dr. Salgor quotes, "To identify carbon based lifeforms that show sufficient evolutionary progress to justify including them in an intelligence uplift program. Where suitable lifeforms are not found, implement strategies to promote suitable lifeforms."
"And why are we doing this?" continues Captain Normath.
"Because we are lonely," replies Dr. Salgor.
"We are NOT lonely Dr. Salgor," barks Captain Normath, his patience at an end, "I have been tasked to distribute intelligence throughout this galaxy where appropriate utilizing genetic crossbreeding with ourselves to ensure the friendly acceptance of our eventual return. I will be successful in that task. You may go!"
With obvious disgust, Dr. Salgor exits the command level of the craft as the blast door irises closed behind him. Captain Normath returns to his duties. "Has a suitable orbiting body been found?" demands Captain Normath.
"Is the ship within range?"
"Engage gravity generator," orders Captain Normath.
It rotates indifferently. Its path defined by the last rendezvous with chance and all the myriad sources of pull. It also has pull for them. It is not small, though it started small eons ago.
New strong pull! It responds to the strong pull and follows a new path. The new path takes it towards the sun, away from the many, small, old pulls. The strong pull releases it. It becomes fast, then faster still! It becomes warm, then warmer still! It passes close to the sun in flaming glory.
The intragalaxy craft exits the solar system.
It cools, but is still going fast. Tickled by the final pull, its path changes again. This path takes it toward the final pull. The final pull, no longer tickling, is irresistible. It warms again from its contact with an atmosphere. The final pull is very strong now. The final pull is- - -
Three months later, the dinosaurs are extinct. The mammals' time in the sunshine begins.