Author : John Williams

Gas and Sag had clear orders to destroy all life on the planet. Their leader, The Gnik, was concerned that the violence portrayed on its radio and television was setting a very bad example to the rest of the Universe. The exact manner of destruction was left to them. Their Gnik failed to see the irony of destroying a planet because of its output of violent transmissions.

“During the five-year trip from the planet htrae in Proxima Centauri, you’ll have ample time to agree on the optimum method,” instructed The Gink. On htrae, it was policy to make decisions at the lowest practical level.

Of course, they didn‘t agree: If Gas said fire then Sag said water.

The arguments went back and forth. Their leader, The Gnik, was beginning to think it had been a mistake to send a couple on this mission. Perhaps, Professor Stranglelove was correct when he or she advocated the elimination of one gender as a means to promote galactic harmony and to make the monarch’s life easier.

It was rumoured that the good professor had taken the precaution to adapt his own or her own body to qualify for either gender – a sacrifice willingly made in the name of science.

“Can’t I use my atomic blaster?” implored Sag as she reached for the holster on her hip.

“What about my headaches? It’s bound to make a terrible noise.”

“If you really loved me, then you’ll do it my way,” countered Sag. Gas checked to see what brain his partner was using.

Sag drew herself up to her full 2ft 6inches and turned her purple faces to her silent partner.

“I’m older so I should decide.” Her mouths forming distinct sulks.

“But you decided last time. It must be my turn.”

Their attention was caught by a message from mission control asking their position.

“Are we there yet?” asked Sag.

“E.T.A. in five minutes,” sighed Gas and vowed to save the most beautiful planet in the cosmos. He looked aghast at the temperature sensing device, the planet must be the coldest inhabited one in the known universe. A plan was beginning to form in his thinking head.

“So what are we going to do?”

All the time, Gas was pondering on the irony of destroying a planet because it was too violent. Of course, he knew that countless envoys had been sent to warn the leaders of the Earthmen. He had seen the record of how they had been cruelly treated, their bodies bombarded with radiation, and then dissected. Gas switched off his feeling head and engaged his other brain. A light illuminated the dark interior of the flying saucer as he came to the realization of how to save the blue planet.

“We’ll toss a coin. Heads or tails?” he said casually.

Sag agreed and called tails.

The coin landed heads side up.

“Shit!” yelled Sag, “ I can never win an argument with you. “ She glared down at the Sirian Dollar.

Gas smiled up at her, “I thought we may introduce a little carbon dioxide into their atmosphere just to warm it up a bit. Then, it would make an ideal holiday destination.”

Sag allowed smiles to soften her mouths.

Gas quickly picked up the double-headed coin and began releasing the stored carbon dioxide they had exhaled during their voyage, venting it into the atmosphere of the blue planet. Their ship lurched upward and Gas struggled to right the craft but Sag wrenched the controls from his grasp.

Observers saw the craft stall and crash into a field on the outskirts of Copenhagen. The ship’s video log, after examination, was hurried to climate change conference. Gas and Sag, still engaged in a furious argument, were taken away for counselling and an afternoon in a hot tub.

Discuss the Future: The 365 Tomorrows Forums
The 365 Tomorrows Free Podcast: Voices of Tomorrow
This is your future: Submit your stories to 365 Tomorrows