Baby Test

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Baby Test

Postby Miki Yamuri » Mon May 20, 2019 8:06 pm

Baby Test

By: Miki Yamuri and Liljennie

The war had lasted for many years and had proven to be extremely bloody and destructive. The highly aggressive Dalgorr species was finally defeated, but not after several star systems and their biospheres had been laid waste.

The Omnis had always been a peaceful and benevolent people; however, they couldn’t allow the Dalgorr to run rampant throughout the universe again. They also couldn’t commit genocide and destroy the whole species.

“I believe we both understand the seriousness of this decision, Ontrith,” said the Prime Speaker for the Order of Omnis. “But we cannot simply commit the same kind of atrocity that the Dalgorr dealt out on a daily basis. That would make us no better than they.”

“Neither can we merely retreat, Orthal,” said the Prime Speaker for the Shield of Omnis. “We are one step from total victory. Genocide is not on the table. But we must take decisive action, or surely these years of horror will happen again -- to our grandchildren, or our great-grandchildren.”

There was a lengthy debate, and many options were put forth by both sides. Meanwhile, Orendis, the Prime Speaker for the Wisdom of Omnis, sat silently and considered.

Finally Orendis stood. After staying silent for so long, her action was met with gasps of surprise from all in the Great Chamber. All heads turned toward her.

“The Chamber recognizes the Prime Speaker for the Wisdom of Omnis,” said the Arbiter.

“There is one option that we have not considered,” Orendis began. All eyes and complete attention were on Orendis at this point as the elderly Prime Speaker spoke loudly and clearly, “We have always been a peaceful and forgiving race. Such horrendous acts as were perpetrated by the Dalgorr cannot and must not go unpunished. However, punishment can be meted out with our new genetics discoveries.”

A loud murmur ran through the gathered assembly until a voice was heard, “You cannot possibly be suggesting we use a biological agent on them? What happens if it mutates in the wild, like what happened to the Callus system so many centuries ago? As I recall it totally wiped out all life in that system.”

Orendis continued, “What I am suggesting is we make a retroviral infusion of some sort. Return them to an earlier time and possibly instill in them a more peaceful way of living as they regrow to maturity.”

Several Years Earlier

“This is planetary defense station Epsilon 12. We have come under attack by a hostile invasion force. We need immediate hel …” The transmission went dead.

The commander of the Shield of Omnis battle cruiser Trellion swiveled around in his command couch and said sharply, “Comms, get that transmission back.”

The young woman played with her control console frantically as she did her level best to reacquire the signal, “I’m sorry, Sir, they are no longer transmitting anything. At best their comms array has been damaged. At worst ...” She didn’t continue, because there was no point. Everyone knew what the worst-case scenario was.

The commander swore. “They’ve done it. They’ve finally gone and done it. After years of arrogant saber-rattling … but Epsilon’s a peaceful colony world. Farmers and herders, raising their children. If the Dalgorr have attacked in force … Comms, send a transmission to Shield of Omnis High Command. Tell them what we know. And tell them that we’re moving to take action. Navigation, plot a course for Epsilon.”

“Aye, Sir,” said the Comms Officer and Navigator together, turning toward their stations to comply. Everyone aboard the Trellion wore the insignia of the Shield of Omnis, sworn to defend their people against threats from within and without, and they all understood that they were now at war.

Throughout the ship the klaxons began sounding as the First Officer’s voice announced over the ship-wide comms, “Battle stations! This is not a drill. All personnel to battle stations, condition red. Assume NR hyperlink travel positions. Prepare for battle immediately upon arrival.”

The ship became a mass of well-ordered chaos as the men and women donned their emergency environmental suits and rushed to their combat positions. Once every station had reported in, the ship’s NR drives engaged, and there was a moment of discontinuity in each crew member’s consciousness.

Emerging from NR travel always felt like waking up from a deep sleep, but the crew was trained and practiced in handling their tasks by rote upon returning to normal space until full consciousness returned. Computers experienced a similar discontinuity and had to be rebooted, so the Intelligence Officer had to operate the sensors manually, which she did. They had emerged near the Epsilon 12 Planetary Defense Station … or what was left of it. All deep scans showed was a massive debris field where the station used to be.

“Epsilon 12 completely destroyed, Sir,” said the Intelligence Officer once she was able to speak. “Detecting at least five carriers matching Dalgorr specs in orbit and fleets of bombers attacking at least 12 major population centers.”

“I’d hoped I was wrong,” the commander admitted. “Defenses at the ready?”

“Aye, Sir,” reported the First Officer.

“Message from High Command, Sir,” said the Comms Officer. “The Prendis and the Zaltria are being scrambled to join us. Other battle groups will arrive as soon as they can. They say there are also reports of an attack at Yuldara C.”

The commander said sharply, “Tactical, we are currently outnumbered by a great deal. I want a stealth approach to weapons range on the carrier nearest to the smaller moon. We can approach from the debris field.”

The tactical officer played with his console for a few minutes then said, “Putting suggested solution on screen, Sir.”

The commander smiled as he slowly nodded. What the tactical screen showed was a fairly roundabout course that would keep some type of obstacle between the Trellion and the carrier he intended to target, making detection extremely difficult. It would also buy more time for the rest of the incoming battle groups to arrive.

The commander said, “Navigation, engage tactical plot. Maneuvering thrusters only. Ion engines leave too large a signature, and we’re too close to run them undetected.”

Navigation replied quickly, “Aye, Sir, maneuvering thrusters engaged 2/3. That should get us within targeting range in about … 10 chronal units and keep us fairly well hidden from their sensors, unless something has been deployed we can’t detect.”

The main viewscreen showed massive energy blooms all over the planet’s surface as the enemy attack groups continued to bombard the major population centers. The commander felt an anger swell within his spirit he had never known before. This planet was a peaceful agrarian planet filled with parklands. It was designed to be a place of beauty to raise families. It was never to have been designated a target and was basically defenseless now that the station had been destroyed.

He barked, “Weapons, arm, load, and lock batteries one through eight with full-yield graviton interphasic torpedoes. Bring the Sub-Z Rams online, and set them to full power. We’ll only get a few shots before we’ll have to move to avoid detection and reciprocal fire.”

“Aye, Sir. Locked and loaded ... at your command.”

The Comms Officer spoke up. “Sir, incoming transmission. Apparently the Argonne battle group were playing wargames nearby. We will have an entire battle fleet to reinforce us within ...” The young woman played with her console for an instant, “ 15 chronal units. They are approaching at full NR.”

The Commander swiveled his couch around and locked it into forward position. He smiled grimly. They might not be able to save many on the surface, but what he was about to do to that carrier, would definitely strike fear into the enemy’s heart.

The Trellion moved, almost completely invisibly to the enemy, always keeping some type of object between it and the enemy carriers. The carrier’s Tacticals might get a whiff of them, but the strategic importance computers would drop them from the targeting system as just more debris.

The Trellion arrived at its attack location. Targeting locked on to the unsuspecting carrier, then space lit up with massive tracers from the torpedoes. Huge pyrotechnical detonations appeared in ever growing spheres of debris as the carrier’s shields failed in a spectacular fireworks display. Then there were more massive detonations as the Sub-Z Rams fired and hit their intended target with devastating results.

The tactical screen showed the carrier as it exploded in a massive fireball, creating a huge and expanding debris field. The Trellion immediately relocated to another position, from which the tactical officer discovered another carrier that had been hidden from scans by the one they had just destroyed.

The commander barked, “Target that carrier and fire.”

“Aye, Commander, firing.”

This carrier also took massive damage, as the huge hull breaches, fiery plasma outgassing events, and the expanding debris showed. By this time, however, many hundreds of enemy fighters had broken off the surface assault and returned to orbit. The Trellion was far outnumbered at this point, by too great a margin to have any hope of survival.

Tactical said with urgency, “Sir, we have been detected, and over 200 fighters are on the way.” He made a few adjustments to his equipment, then continued, “Apparently reinforcements have arrived ... and just in the nick of time.”

The tactical screen showed a large group of friendly ships as they arrived from NR. The fighters broke off their approach to the Trellion as they attempted to regroup to take this new massive threat into account.

The Shield of Omnis was now represented by four heavy cruisers armed to the teeth -- the Trellion, the Iridis, the Erathion, and the Verlos, accompanied by two assault beam ships, two carriers with a full complement of fighters, and the Fearless, which was one of the newest Super Dreadnoughts armed with some of the mysterious Null Reaction weapons. They were a newly-developed weapon that caused massive amounts of damage but were completely invisible to all scans, as they didn’t seem to emit any type of energy signatures that could be detected.

The young woman at Comms rotated her couch around towards the commander with a hand to her ear, “Sir. I’m receiving comms from both the Prendis and the Zaltria. They have an ETA of three more chronal units. Reinforcements have arrived just in time and in the proper sequence. I think we may defeat this assault group easily.”

The commander replied softly with much regret in his voice, “Let’s hope so. I just wish we could have been here sooner and saved more lives.”

Planetary visuals showed that large areas of the surface had become a wasted, debris-laden firestorm. Tactical showed that there were now four enemy carriers left. The Dalgorr fighters weren’t doing well against the beam ships, which were specifically designed to destroy multiple targets simultaneously. What was more, the battle group that had just arrived was fresh from a war games simulation against exactly the sort of attack they were currently facing, so none of the enemy tactics came as a surprise to them.

It did not take long to mop up the rest of the fighters and destroy the relatively defenseless carriers, especially once the Prendis and the Zaltria arrived. But the damage had been done: the planet Epsilon would never again be the same natural wonderland it had once been, and millions of Omnis civilians had perished, in complete disregard for all treaties and galactic law. The Dalgorr had what they wanted, it seemed: total war without boundaries. What no Omnis understood, though, was why they had done it. What was there to be gained?

Back at Current Time

“We will never truly be defeated!” shouted Grantharr, striking the natural armor plates on his forearms against one another in the traditional Dalgorr gesture of defiance. One or two other Dalgorr echoed his gesture, but the others were either inside soundproof cells already or too far away within the gigantic holding facility, unable to hear his voice.

One of the nearby Dalgorr shouted back, “The Omnis are weak! We are true warriors!” as she was being herded into a cell of her own. Grantharr knew her: Brognorr, a Squadron Commander of the Third Division. But Grantharr had only seen her for a moment before the Omnis guards had shoved her into a cell, and the two guards escorting him were not stopping to let him make speeches. They were surprisingly strong for their relatively small size.

“You cannot possibly imprison my entire people,” Grantharr said to them. “We are far too many and far too strong.” But they shoved him into a cell, barely large enough for him to lie down in, and slammed the door. The interior of the cell was a shiny, silvery metal. A diffuse light emanated from slits in the ceiling too narrow to fit a claw through.

“We do not need to imprison your entire people,” came a gentle, yet firm voice from … somewhere above. Grantharr could not see any speakers or cameras. “Most of your people were against the war, as it turned out. There are only a relative few of you who are … naughty.”

Naughty? The Omnis must be using a translation computer that was only somewhat familiar with the Dalgorr language. The word used was the sort of word used to speak to a child who had disobeyed his parents. To use it to speak to a grown warrior was disrespectful. But the Omnis did not know their ways -- they clearly didn’t even know their language.

The voice took on a cooing aspect the Dalgorr knew was only used to talk to infant toddling children, “Well, sweetie, we would like to give you an easy and simple test. To refuse, means we will surgically remove all your natural armor from your body .. without the benefit of anesthesia.” The Dalgorr knew beyond any doubt that to have one’s armor removed in that manner reduced the individual to slave status. It was a one-way ticket regardless of how or why it happened.

The warrior stood suddenly, forgetting in his anger how small this cell was and banged his head hard. He swore loudly, then said, “What kind of idiot test do you wimps want me to take?”

For the next hour or so, the Dalgorr was asked many nonsensical questions about toys, children’s clothing, little girl’s panties, and children’s stories, to name only a few. Unknown to the Dalgorr Warrior, the ventilator had been delivering a genetically modified retroviral RNA strand as the sound system delivered many binaural tones. The lighting system had been modified to produce minute flashes that created a mind entrainment situation, unnoticed by the prisoner.

At first, the Dalgorr Warrior was insulted by the questions. After a few minutes, they began to make some kind of fun sense to him and he started enjoying answering them.

In a room overlooking the incarcerated Dalgorr, several of the Wisdom of Omnis stood and observed the results of their little test. The eldest turned and said softly, “Apparently the combination of genetic manipulation and that frequency mind manipulation technique is working.”

A young woman who was typing furiously on her padd’s holo-keyboard said, “He has already started making the conversion. Observe that the responses to our questions have taken on a much more childlike tone.”

A young man with freckles and very thick glasses said, “From what I can see, the Dalgorr has also become much smaller in stature. You can plainly see the genetic residue left over as his body changes.”

“Our compliments,” said Trinio, who stood behind the younger ones wearing the robes and symbols of the Wisdom of Omnis. “Once again the Mind of Omnis triumphs.”

“Triumphs for one are triumphs for all,” said both the young man and the young woman in the traditional way, bowing to Trinio.

“What are the latest readings of the subject’s mass and density, Telombro?” the young woman asked.

“Mass, 32.21 units and falling,” Telombro said, looking at the instrument panel. “Body density, 1.08 and staying steady … no, also falling now. The final phase will come soon, Hathira!”

Below them in the cell, Grantharr was bemused. “Why, yes,” he said, “I enjoy -- used to enjoy -- such toys.” In his mind were images of a rotating flying disc toy that he and his friends had once had great fun playing catch with. “They are -- were -- quite fun.”

“Do you not wish you could enjoy such things again?” asked the softly cooing voice.

“Of course I do!” Grantharr replied. “Those were delightful times. I have so much fun playing with my friends every day -- had, I mean … or do I mean have?”

“I think you mean have,” cooed the voice. “After all, once you are finished with school for the day, nothing is stopping you. One day you will grow up to be a responsible citizen, but that day is not here yet. Soon you can go out and play.”

“I … want very much for school to be over for the day,” said Grantharr, whose voice was sounding higher and smaller, but he didn’t notice. “Once the lesson is over, of course.”

“Of course,” said the voice. “You want to learn your lessons well. That is very conscientious and responsible of you. One day you will be a fine and honorable citizen, a credit to your family. But yes, for now you must study hard and learn all your lessons. Even the ones that are difficult for you, like how to count to eight. Someday it will be easy, but to reach that place, you must study. Now, I know it is difficult, but can you count to eight?”

“Of course!” said Grantharr. “One, two, three, four, uh …” He was counting on his fingers, rather than just reciting the numbers, as he had done just a few minutes earlier. “Five … um … seven?”

“Very good, you almost made it,” said the voice. “Do not worry. Keep studying, and you will learn. Just as you have almost learned how to keep your garments and bed dry at night.”

“I … um …” Grantharr stammered in embarrassment.

“Do not worry,” said the softly cooing voice. “Many children your age have such problems, and you will be growing out of it soon, I am sure. Keep trying, and you will be able to start school. Just as soon as we can get you out of those training panties.”

“I … am sorry …” Grantharr stumbled. “I don’t wanna bring dishonor to my family.”

“There is no dishonor in being small,” the voice said smoothly and kindly. “All adults started out small. All your friends are small. They are all still happily in diapers, just like you. It is normal.”

The process was complete, and at her control panel, Hathira smiled and turned off her microphone. She watched Grantharr look up as her -- formerly his -- cell door opened and a very large young woman dressed in a dazzlingly white isolation suit walked in and knelt. She held out her arms and cooed softly, “Come to Nurse, baby girl. Let’s us get you all cleaned up and diapered. Nurse thinks baby would want some nice num nums about now.”

Granthar screeched with joy as she stood up adorably like any toddler, then toddled over to the Nurse’s open arms. Grantharr was covered with the jelly-like genetic residue that was predicted to be left over after reversion was completed.

The Nurse picked the adorable and messy little girl up in her arms and cooed reassuringly as she carried the infant to the nursery that had been setup to receive all the new infants to give this one her much needed bath.

Several of the Mind of Omnis sat behind a semicircular control console that overlooked something like a large auditorium completely enclosed in a clear armourplast bubble. Within the enclosure were many hundreds of Dalgorr, all agitated and angry, but totally helpless to do anything.

A group of them rushed at the same portion of the bubble wall and started clawing at it, but to no avail -- all they succeeded in doing was blunting their claws. They kept at it until their claws were bloody and they realized there was no sign of damage to the surface at all.

Telombro, who had been poised on the controls that would have automatically stunned the rebellious group, relaxed in some surprise that they had given up. “A marked change in behavior,” he said.

“Yes,” said Hathira, sitting next to him. “The light patterns and airborne retrovirus are beginning to have their effects -- slowly, as predicted.”

“Let us see whether this method is as effective as it is efficient,” said Telombro.

Hathira took the microphone again and started speaking softly into it. The sound equipment translated and modified her voice, loading it with subsonic frequencies that mimicked the qualities of the sound transmitted through a Dalgorr mother’s body into her womb.

A soft voice cooed through the room, “Good morning. We are about to administer a test. You don’t have to take it if you don’t want to … however the penalties for that is having all your natural body armor surgically removed without the benefit of anesthesia.”

As expected, there were many angry protests over this horrible thing that would totally destroy any Dalgorr’s life that it happened to, not to mention that the process would certainly be highly painful.

The softly cooing voice took on the aspect of talking to a room full of children as it explained, “The test is easy. We won’t ask you any questions about any military or classified information. Why, we don't even want to know who your leaders are or anything. Just answer the questions.”

By now, the Dalgorr were totally furious, but unable to do anything except comply. The largest one in the group shouted as he banged his armor covered forearms together defiantly, “Ok, wimp of the universe, we will answer your dumb questions. Be forewarned, we cannot be forced to reveal anything.”

For the next several hours, they were asked silly questions about diapers, plastic panties, plushy dolls, and flavored lollipops. At first, it was obvious the group was completely insulted, both at the tone of the cooing voice and the type of questions being asked. They did, however, start to realize the fun in many of the questions and began to enjoy answering them.

Telombro tapped his monitor as he said excitedly, “Look, it’s actually happening. Their body mass is starting to change. I can also see some of the females changing to males and some of the males turning to females. This is so much faster than handling them individually, and the threat of armor removal seems to be motivation enough.”

An elderly woman wearing the whitest of gowns that bore they highest symbol of Mind of Omnis said softly, “It brings much pleasure to my heart to know that we do not have to exterminate the entire species. I think we can even get this test negotiated into the Dalgorr surrender agreement. We will call it … I don’t know, perhaps the Baby Test.”

Telombro and Hathira began chuckling for a minute before the elderly woman also began to chuckle.

Grantharr was comfortable in her thick diapers and soft baby clothing. She cooed as she batted at the colorful rings and other shapes that dangled from the cradle in which she was being transported.

“A-are you going to … punish us?” asked a fearful-sounding Dalgorr diplomat.

Grantharr didn’t understand the words anymore, nor did she want to, but her cradle was being pushed on antigrav bearings into a meeting room alongside several others. Were there other babies in those? Grantharr occasionally saw small baby hands reaching for toys dangling over the other cradles and wondered if she would get to meet them.

“Of course not,” said an Omnis diplomat, wearing the insignia of the Order of Omnis. “We know that most of your people were opposed to war and that you yourself protested strongly, to the point of being arrested for what the warmongers called ‘unpatriotic activity.’”

“That’s putting it mildly,” murmured the Dalgorr diplomat. “If things had gone on much longer, I probably would have been executed for treason.”

“That would have been a crime against all sentient life,” said the Order of Omnis diplomat. “My name is Lindros, and I have the honor of serving as ambassador to this Dalgorr world. And no, the Omnis people do not wish to take this planet nor add it to the Omnis Commonwealth. We wish to return to a time when we could coexist peacefully with the Dalgorr.”

The Dalgorr diplomat sucked in a breath and released it in relief. “I am pleased to hear this. My name is Hrylthak. Things are in chaos, as you might imagine, but I have been selected to represent this world in our peace negotiations. Might I ask about the presence of these infants? Were they rescued? Are they being repatriated?”

“You are correct,” said Lindros. “During the war, many children on both sides sadly became orphans. We are finding homes for the Omnis children who are now without families, but we feel that Dalgorr children would be better off living with Dalgorr parents. We have cared for them as best we can, but we know that their own people would do better. There are many more; these are but a few. But one of the things I have come to do is inquire about the possibility of finding homes for the unfortunate Dalgorr war orphans. And if Omnis orphans are found, we wish to ask that they be returned to our people.”

“I see,” Hrylthak said. “Of course, this planet has been subject to the ravages of war, as have many others. But this matter can be one of many addressed in the peace treaty that I hope can be swiftly, but carefully, drawn up and concluded. As you know, I had no desire for the war to start, and I am eager for it to fully end. I’m happy to hear that you aren’t planning to seek vengeance against our entire race for the actions of a minority …”

The funny talking grownups were walking away. Grantharr was left behind along with the other babies and their strange-looking Omnis caretakers.

“Aw, now who is this?” said a voice. “Aren’t we a sweet little princess?” A large funny orange face came into view, the same color as Grantharr’s own skin. She squeaked at first, but then laughed as the Dalgorr woman leaning over the cradle made funny faces at her. “There’s a smile! Are they taking good care of you?”

“We’re doing our best, Ma’am,” said Grantharr’s Omnis caretaker, “but of course we’re sure that Dalgorr parents would be much better at looking after Dalgorr children -- just as Omnis children would be better off with Omnis parents.”

“That’s probably so,” said the Dalgorr woman. “My name’s Rillegar. I’m here to help Hrylthak put an end to all this war and destruction so the rebuilding process can start. My kids are grown, and luckily they survived the war, but I should talk to my husband -- maybe we can take in an orphan or two, give them a home, poor kids.”

“Well, let’s see how the treaty negotiations go,” said the Omnis caretaker. “This one’s named Grantharr, by the way. She’s sweet, but with a bit of a mischievous streak, I’ve noticed. Oh, my name’s Rindis.”

Grantharr heard her name! She suddenly paid attention, even though she didn’t understand the other words being said.

“Oh, look, she knows we’re talking about her,” said Rillegar. “She’s a clever one already! She must be less than a cycle old.”

The Dalgorr did little arguing with the Omnis’ stipulations within the treaty. For many of the Dalgorr, it was a very large relief to know they weren’t going to be bombed to extinction by a vindictive conqueror.

One slight sticking point was this strange genetic test all the surviving Dalgorr were required to take. It seemed that those that were found to possess a certain gene combination would be required to take what was called a Baby Test. Of course, for those with the target gene combo that refused to take the Baby Test, the alternative was the removal of the natural body armor, thus relegating the individual to slave status under Dalgorr law for the remainder of their life and placing them up for sale on the Dalgorr slave market.

Hrylthak’s eyes were large with surprise as he said intently, “You can’t be serious? Removing the natural armor on one of our people makes them … an animal. They become property under law and go up for immediate sale.”

Lindros smiled thinly as he replied softly, “Then it would behoove all those found with the target genetic combination to take the Baby Test. Otherwise the armor removal is mandatory. That is non negotiable under any circumstances. The only other possibility ... let’s not even discuss that hypothetically. It’s too grim.”

Hrylthak flopped back into the embrace of the very soft and comfortable chair he was sitting in. In his mind, he could conjure up many images of that weird new weapon the Omnis had demonstrated, wiping out entire biospheres. He had, unfortunately, been present when a Shield of Omnis Super Dreadnought had opened fire on an outer perimeter defense planet. The planet was totally laid waste; planetary defenses had no effect. The weapon didn’t even seem to fire … there was just suddenly super massive damage.

Hrylthak said, “Well, of course, I am empowered to speak only for this one world. I can’t speak for the entire Dalgorr government. Ambassadors will probably be available to meet with you once the current state of chaos has receded, but all I can do is bring your message to this world’s parliament.” He paused for a moment. “Have the Omnis taken these tests?” he asked.

“What?” asked Lindros.

“I’m just curious,” Hrylthak said. “Have you taken a test like this? Because I’m not responsible for my genetic makeup, but I’m going to have to take this test anyway. I’m going to be judged not by my actions, but by my genes, something I have no control over. Do you, Lindros of the Order of Omnis, have any firsthand experience with this sort of situation?”

“We are not the ones being judged here,” said Lindros. “We are the ones doing the judging. We did not attack poorly-defended colony worlds with no provocation.”

“Neither did I.”

“No, you did not,” said Lindros. “And actually, because of that fact, and because of studies we’ve made of your people’s biology, that’s almost certainly a sign that you don’t have the gene that would trigger the Baby Test.”

“What does that mean?” asked Hrylthak.

“There are two kinds of Dalgorr,” said Lindros. “You’ve probably noticed it by now. Many of your medical and anthropological researchers have theorized it. There are the ones who grow up and become good parents … and the ones who never mature beyond infancy, even though their bodies mature.”

“The myth of the atavistic gene?” asked Hrylthak. “I’ve read about it. I don’t believe it. It’s … too simple. People make choices. Sometimes they make poor ones. That’s all.”

“That’s why there are two tests,” said Lindros. “Those who have the gene, but have truly matured … they pass the Baby Test.”

“And those who fail? Do you simply … execute them?”

“They are given a second chance,” said Lindros.

“A second … wait.” Hrylthak looked out the window at the diplomatic attaches who were getting acquainted with the baby Dalgorr in their carriages. “Reducing them to infancy? Your science can … do that?”

“The Mind of Omnis has made great strides,” said Lindros. “But again, those are the ones who fail both tests. We can remove the gene, but unless we go farther, those are still adult Dalgorr who have learned their behavior patterns well. Not unless they unlearn them and start again can they truly become responsible adults, the kind who will pursue their goals via civilized, peaceful means.”

“This is … I would say crazy, but it’s actually starting to make sense,” said Hrylthak. “I … have a proposition for you.”

“I’m listening,” said Lindros.

“It’s just as I predicted,” Lindros said, looking at Hrylthak’s test results. “You don’t have the gene. You never did. It’s why you saw the war as immoral and fought against it. It’s why you’re a diplomat now.”

“Now that I’ve been the first one to take the test, voluntarily, everyone else will be more likely to comply,” said Hrylthak. “But there are going to be conspiracy theories, spread by those who know they’ll fail. They’ll go into hiding. They’ll fight back.”

“We’ll help,” Lindros said. “It’s in our interest to make sure that this doesn’t happen again. You can see that.”

“Yes,” said Hrylthak. “But remember our deal.”

“Of course,” said Lindros. “Krendaav.”

Krendaav sat in his comfortable chair behind his huge desk computer. He smiled inwardly at the idiot Hrylthak’s idea and the document he had before him. And just what was this stupid Baby Test?

Krendaav’s musings were interrupted when the ultra secure locking bolts in the massively thick door could be heard retracting, then the door opening. About a dozen heavily armed individuals in some sort of powered combat suits entered with their weapons drawn and pointed at him.

Krendaav stood and said with indignant anger, “What’s the meaning of this intrusion? This is a high …”

An individual stepped forward. Even with the powered armor on, it was obvious this was a female. Krendaav felt so strange suddenly as a wave of tingling sensation began to grow throughout his body. His legs felt weird, and he found himself flopping back into his chair.

A female cooing voice spoke softly, “Hello sweetie. Nurse is so glad I found you. We were so worried about you getting lost from the nursery.”

Krendaav bellowed, although his voice started to sound very different to his own ears than he remembered a few hours ago, “Nursery? I have no idea …” a very intense wave washed all through him and the imperceptible Mind entrainment flashes began to radiate from the powered suits. Soothing Binaural tones washed over him.

The Nurse cooed softly as she asked Krendaav many silly questions about little girl’s pullup panties, diapers, plushy dolls, and rompers. At first, Krendaav felt insulted, but slowly he began to enjoy answering and it became fun. He barely noticed the swab that the Omnis scientist inserted into his open, drooling mouth. When the scientist placed the swab into a handheld scanning device, he looked at the Nurse and nodded. Krendaav didn’t pay attention to any of this.

“I’ll bet you remember dollies,” said the Nurse.

“Dollies … my sister had lots of those … but she wouldn’t share …”

“The Omnis promised not to destroy our planet, but that was a LIE!” said social media posts from throwaway accounts. “What they’re doing is the same thing! They’re destroying our proud warrior heritage! The Dalgorr who are disappearing are the ones who supported the war effort! Coincidence? NO! The Omnis want us to be soft and compliant, easily conquered! And there are traitors who are working with them!”

That was the last post.

The Omnis made sure the baby Dalgorr were separated and sent to different planets, never sending them back to the same one they had been found on. It was a massive effort, and the Dalgorr who remained adults were strained, taking care of so many “war orphans.”

Omnis Vencarious entered the huge conference room. Immediately, silence ruled as the highest of the high ranking individuals of the ruling council entered the chamber.

Omnis said softly, although her voice was heard throughout the huge chamber, “We have finally discovered and cured a genetic flaw within our neighbors, the Dalgorr. I am aware of the call for a different kind of judgement against the planetary systems and populations. In my heart, I so rule that the recent course and resultant action has produced the results we had hoped.” she turned and indicated a very pretty young Dalgorr girl who walked up beside Omnis, “I would like all of you to meet Miss Krendaav.” Omnis bent slightly and patted the young girl on the shoulder, “Don’t be afraid. Just go up to that lighted place and introduce yourself.”

The little girl walked up to the lighted circle and said in a shy little girl’s voice, “Hi .. ummm .. I’m Krendaav … an an an am this manys.” She put her thumb in her mouth and held up 4 fingers with the other hand.

A very large babble of voices arose from the gathered dignitaries for several minutes, scaring Krendaav and causing her to scurry off the podium, until a voice was heard, “You can’t be trying to tell us that’s the Dalgorr Krendaav that has caused so much uproar and militant endorsements are you? This … is impossible, the Krendaav everyone knows is ... male.”

Omnis smiled as she replied, “As impossible as it might sound, I can assure you that Krendaav has had the genetic issue solved, and her focus will turn toward bettering her own society using means other than violence as this new little girl grows into a proper Dalgorr woman.”

The huge auditorium erupted in many voices all discussing this development. Other than the representatives from the Mind of Omnis, all were incredulous that a simple test had created such a huge change. Little did they realize this simple test was far more complicated than any realized.

It was several years later, and the Dalgorr who had gone through the Baby Test after the war were growing up again.

“Granthaar, you hardly need my assistance, but we both know that the school administration requires that every student meet with me at this time of year, as you are now nearly within a year of graduation. I assume you’ve been making plans for your future already, considering your grades have left little to be desired.”

“Indeed I have, Jorenthaal,” said Granthaar, her adult armor plating having nearly fully grown back, though in the more curvaceous and less rectilinear lines of the female of the species. Sitting down, she went on, “I have been focusing very intently on how I can best serve the Dalgorr people as a responsible citizen. I know I can’t do this if my grades are anything less than the best. But yes, I understand that these meetings are mandatory, to ensure that no Dalgorr is left behind. The policy is quite reasonable and conscientious. The Dalgorr people would not be served if any underachievers were overlooked.”

“Yes, that is of course the goal,” said Jorenthaal. “Are you planning to enter the workforce or pursue higher education? Do you need any informational materials, or can I help you to arrange an interview?”

Granthaar excitedly replied, “I have already published papers on molecular biology, and they have attracted the interest of the Krellinax Institute as well as the Voronaaq Academy. Both are willing to put me to work on research projects simultaneously with pursuing my degrees, once I graduate from this school. I have a difficult decision to make.”

“The Krellinax Institute? The Voronaaq Academy?” Jorenthaal stood up and extended his hand. “Congratulations, Granthaar! This is excellent news. I am very happy for you.”

Granthaar shook his hand and replied, “Thank you, Jorenthaal. My colleague Krendaav of Hinomor has been leaning toward Krellinax, so it is possible that we will make the decision together. Our research follows very similar lines, and I am hoping that we can work together, rather than merely being long-distance friends.”

“Wonderful!” said Jorenthaal. “This can only mean good things for the future of the Dalgorr people. It does my heart good to see young people with such vision. Might I ask what your research papers are about?”

“Of course,” replied Granthaal. “In layman’s terms, they lay out the possibility that there is a genetic flaw in the Omnis species that leads to a self-defeating tendency to segregate themselves into isolated specialist communities, explore the long-term effects of eliminating this defect, and propose a means of doing so.”

“By Jhuuldar!” said Jorenthaal. “I am not an expert in the field by any means, but it sounds brilliant!”

“The Institute and the Academy seemed extremely interested in my ideas,” Granthaal said. “Especially the last part, where I propose putting the Omnis who test positive for the gene through something I call the Baby Test …”

~~ A New Horizon ~~
Miki Yamuri
Posts: 301
Joined: Mon Jun 23, 2014 3:06 pm

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