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.
“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!”
They were wrong. This had to be it. “Negative, Farra Station. I’m
“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
“It’s simple – never send a dumb bitch on a deep space
mission of critical importance.”