Author : Julian Miles, Staff Writer

The bridge is quiet. Non-essential systems are shut down as avoiding detection by this world’s dominant species is essential. Two figures stand by a darkened control panel that has a single node illuminated; the white glow of the ring about the simple switch casting their features in sharp relief broken by impenetrable shadows.

“Are you sure that the ecological impact has been properly assessed?” The smaller of the two seems nervous.

“Yes. It may seem drastic, but like some forests need burning to improve, the predictive work gave this the best chance of success.” The confidence of the taller one is underpinned with sadness.

“Really? What about the humans?”

“Their technology is the root of the problem. It has advanced so far that they can ignore any imperatives delivered by their biosphere’s ecosystem, and still continue down the wrong path.”

The smaller one nods: “There has never been a fauna reintroduction like this. Its progress will be keenly monitored.”

The taller one chuckles: “They can monitor as much as they like. Can you imagine what a revocation would be like?”

The smaller one pauses, then bursts out laughing: “It would inflict catastrophic damage.”

“Precisely. This is a single-action intervention. The Concillium Galactus has stated that we do this and then observe, no matter what happens.”

“Even if they overcome our cargo?” The smaller one is aghast.

“Yes. Humans are dangerous. If they counter this intervention, they’re on their own. Interdicted as well, I would expect.” The tall one looks up at the viewports as the heat-haze of atmospheric entry clears.

“So this is the last chance for this biosphere.” The smaller one whispers.

“Would you care to-?” The tall one gestures to the smaller one, indicating the switch.

The smaller one nods: “I mentored them. I taught them. It is only fair that I release them.” He rests a digit on the switch.

With a heavy sigh, the tall one steps back and folds his appendages in front of him.

The small one raises a limb: “By order of the Concillium Galactus, now starts the final phase of Fauna Reintroduction Project Nine-Four-Four-Zero.” He firmly presses the switch into its lower position. Their vessel shakes as over half its weight exits via the vast hatches opened by the pressing of the switch.

The taller one leans his fore-crest against the largest of the viewports: “Humans, meet Draco Cruentus; the species that ended the dinosaurs. If not for the asteroid shower a few decades after they finished them off, your technology would still be focussed on making better caves. Let us see how you fare now that we have given nature a balance to your selfishness.”

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