“Pago-what now?” the Sergeant spat out, making a face.
“Love of ice, in plain terms,” the scientist explained.
“So, just add water? In the form of ice?” the Sergeant asked, looking at the rectangular thing. He shivered in the icy mountains, even though he wore like three layers plus his pyjamas underneath. He couldn’t reach his cock even if a dozen whores had suddenly showed up on shore-leave.
“Yeah. Basically,” the scientist said, frowning deeply.
Sergeant Veller was worried about the scientist’s reaction, or lack thereof. He was used to pissing scientists off with his inane questions and seeing them seethe as they tried to boil down concepts and theories into something his simple mind could comprehend. He was the science-liaison, after all of the military. And he took his job seriously, making it as hard as possible for those brainiacs that drew the shortest straw and had to deal with him.
But this guy, Dr. Yun, wasn’t getting pissed off. He simply answered Veller’s stupid questions, lost in thought.
That got Veller worried. Very worried.
If a scientist wasn’t getting angry at explaining this alien artifact to a mere soldier, then there were some serious issues worrying him.
“Okay. So, do we nuke it?” Veller deadpanned, his hand reaching for his rifle instinctively.
“What?” Dr. Yun started and turned to him.
Finally, a reaction.
“No! Never. This is in all probability a seed arc from an alien civilization. We can’t possibly destroy it, that would be-be,” he stuttered, looking for the right words, “sacrilege. Genocide.”
“All right,” Veller calmed him down. “We won’t nuke it, fine. You tell me then, doctor, what do we do with it?”
“We bring it back to Earth for study,” the scientist said and realised then stupidity of his words as soon as they left his mouth, it was obvious.
Veller opened his mouth to object.
“Yes, I spoke too soon, I know. We cannot endanger Earth with alien organisms. Nor can we risk contamination of our biosphere…”
Veller opened his mouth, then shut it. “Yeah. Exactly what you just said. We can’t.” He was gonna say that the damn thing was too big to fit on the spaceship, but of course, the brainiac’s argument was better.
He looked up, snow forming in his goggles. He rubbed them with his gloves as best as he could and tried to guesstimate how big it was. “How big would you say it is, doc? Thirty feet?”
Yun pointed a gloved finger beneath them. “At least, and there should be about ten more feet buried beneath us, the way it’s dug in.”
“Well, damn,” Veller said unhelpfully. He always said that when he needed to think. The two men watched the alien artifact for a while.
It didn’t do much.
Yun scanned something on the surface with his scanner and jotted down readings.
“How do we open it?” Veller asked, opening his arms wide.
“I do not know,” Yun said, looking up. “Perhaps after some months of study we might decipher some of those markings. Could take years, even.”
“Oh. Goody.” Veller sat his butt on a frozen rock. The snow crunched under his weight, and he waited patiently as the good scientist did whatever it was he was doing.
Finally, after half an hour of watching Yun traipse around in the snow around the artifact, Veller said, “Screw it,” and raised his rifle.
“No, you fool!” Yun cried out and tried to push him away.
He was too late. Veller emptied the entire plasma mag on the side of the alien artifact, blowing large holes in it.
Both men turned to the artifact to see.
It started to glow a brilliant bluish light from its core. It was impossible to see what was inside, the light was so brilliant.
The two men fell to their knees, little weak humans in the snow.
“What have you done?” Yun cried, pounding the frost with his fist.
“Holo-what now?” Veller asked, scrunching up his nose.
“Holographic DNA. The aliens are very grateful,” Yun said, mulling over data up on the spaceship.
“How can DNA be holographic?” Veller grunted. “Isn’t a hologram something that isn’t there?”
“Excellent question!” Yun exclaimed, grabbing the soldier by the shoulders.
The poor brainiac’s head was about to explode with all these new discoveries.
“Okay, don’t get horny like that, chillax. And will the aliens let us come down on the planet again? My superiors will ask this, I better know that beforehand,” Veller grunted, checking the radar. There far too many blips than he was comfortable with. Millions.
“They said they’d reach out when they’ve established their society into their new planet,” Yun said, still giddy like a boy with a new toy.
“Right. So we just lost a planet. And I’m the schmuck that’s gotta report that. Great, just great…” Veller grunted.
“It doesn’t matter! A planet doesn’t matter. Think of how many discoveries they can share with us!” Yun said, eyes wide like a madman. “The culture. The-the nature of their holographic DNA! It’s the ultimate life preserver. Think!”
Veller waved the amazing and startling possibilities away. “Yeah, yeah. Do they have any weapons or something? I can sweeten the bad news with something like that,” he said, picking up the radio.
“Weapons? This is an entire civilization. Previously unknown to us, man!”
“So, no weapons?” Veller said, radio still in hand.
“Is that all you care about?” Yun said, frowning.
“No, I just wanna leave this ice-cube of a planet.”
“Oh, you can’t leave. The aliens have said to me that they consider you their saviour. The automations in the seed vault didn’t work, they’d be left there forever if it wasn’t for you. They’ll only liaison with you, and no one else.”
Veller mouthed about a hundred curses, then settled for biting his lips, cradling the radio, and kicking the communications panel again and again until his toes hurt.
“Well, damn?” Yun mocked, raising his eyebrow.
“That’s an understatement, Yun.” Veller admitted defeat and reported back to the General about the lovely ice-cream aliens he released from their box or whatever.