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Title: A Dumb Bitch on a Deep Space Mission

Bleep.

Jinda looked at the sensor display. The echo was weak, feeble. But it was an echo. Finally, something was out there.

Excited, she altered course. The sensor echo gained definition. She decided to call it in. “Farra Station, Blue-Scout six. Respond.”

The station replied. “Reading you, Blue-Scout six. Report.

“Echo on deep-scan. Confirmed contact. Sending data.”

…Received. Hold for analysis.

Jinda waited, gripping her control surface with anticipation. This had to be it. What else could it be?

Blue-Scout six, Farra Station.

Jinda took a deep breath before replying. “Reading you, Farra Station. Analysis?”

It’s just an asteroid, Blue-Scout six. Ignore it.

Jinda could not believe it. “An asteroid?! You’re telling me it’s an asteroid?!”

Affirmative, Blue-Scout six. Resume course.

“No way! You’re analysis is flawed!”

Resume course.

They were wrong. This had to be it. “Negative, Farra Station. I’m arming QUAKE.”

Resume course, Blue-Scout six. That’s an order.

Jinda ignored the order. “QUAKE armed. Engaging target.”

Blue-Scout six! Jinda! No! Do not engage!

Jinda muted the communications channel then checked her readouts. Interception was confirmed. QUAKE functionality was nominal. Thirty seconds.

She had a visual now. The object did indeed resemble an asteroid, but Jinda’s sixth sense told her otherwise. And although her sixth sense had been wrong every other time throughout her life, her seventh sense told her that this time it was right, and her seventh sense never lied.

Ten seconds. Jinda had waited all her professional life for this moment. Adrenalin pumped like molasses through her veins. She shivered with excitement. This was her dream, and that dream was about to come true…


The children gathered around the statue and gazed up at the slim female figure carved before them. Even thought the statue was made of cold grey marble, the figure’s wide smile and large eyes radiated warmth.

One of the children turned to his tutor. “Sir, who is that?”

His tutor, a bald and bearded old man, looked up at the statue. “That, my young friend, is Jinda Mahmoodi.”

The child was curious. “Why was a statue made of her?”

“It was made,” the tutor said, “so that we may never forget the deed she performed more than three centuries ago.”

“It must have been a great deed.” The child said.

The tutor laughed. He knelt down and looked at the child. “No.” He said, shaking his smooth head. “Her deed was one of arrogant stupidity and grave misjudgement on a scale never known before. Instead of saving our world she plunged it into two centuries of pestilence and depravity. It was Jinda alone who was responsible for the suffering and death of seventeen billion of our ancestors.”

The child looked up at Jinda’s pretty, smiling face. “Then this statue is a warning: that we should think before acting, as the consequences of our actions may adversely affect others in ways we can never foresee.”

“Interesting,” The tutor said, “but completely incorrect.”

The child was puzzled. He looked at his tutor. “Then what does the statue mean?”

“It’s simple – never send a dumb bitch on a deep space mission of critical importance.”

 
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© Copyright Peter Fothergill 1992 - 2017

 
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