“And Commander Grimes agreed with my analysis Sir,” the young human was explaining.
Commandant Twirls idly wondered, not for the first time why the human was forcing himself into that rigid death like posture while giving his report. All the humans who came before him did it. He wondered if he was curious enough about it to look up the reason in the human behavioral archives. He realized the human had ceased talking, leaving only the soft pulsing of the great central fluid and gaseous pumps of the mammal to fill the room with ambient sound. Deciding that the human wished a response the Commandant raised his primary gripping appendages in what he hoped mimicked the human’s placating body language. He did not want to frighten the young Ranger.
“So to summarize,” Commandant Twirls began. “You observed the rapidly reproducing species that had infested the ship and determined through practical experimentation that the infestation could not be eliminated or controlled.”
The human bobbed his cranial mass once quickly to confirm the statement. His skin flushed with a rainbow of colors. The spectrum indicated sick horror and shame if the Commandant was any judge of human character. The great pumps began to work faster and then fell out of unison as the human used the gaseous pumps to maintain control over the fluid one. The Commandant would have liked to attempt to sooth the human but he was afraid to condescend to the youngster so he continued but added a reminder to his summary.
“You are not being chastised for your choices Ranger,” Commandant Twirls assured him. “The species was identified and it was a non-sentient replicant threat. The Central University confirms the field assessment you preformed. Now, you evacuated the lower section of your survey ship and detonated the entire ship’s supply of the human explosive designated C-4 in the affected section.”
“Plus the stuff we were carrying out to Gamma base.” The human added.
Twirls noted with relief that the human was displaying less stress and some colors of pleasure even played across the stripes on his face. Though the concept that remembering a giant, near fatal explosion was the cause of this pleasure was disturbing.
“Indeed. You detonated the supply and destroyed the central reproductive chamber of the infestation. This further exposed the interior of that section of the ship to open space.”
“Yes Sir,” the human replied.
“Here is the one question the council has,” Twirls began gently. “And do recall that we are not going to ultimately override the decisions of our field agents in such a situation. You did preserved all the lives of your crew and protected the local inhabited sector. However we do want to understand the logic of the next step.”
“I understand,” the human stated.
“For the record then,” Commandant Twirls said. “Your own analysis shows that you believed the threat had been eliminated by the use of the C-4. Why then did you jettison the infected portions of the ship and take the next steps recorded in the log?”
“We didn’t think the C-4 was enough sir,” the human replied. “I mean there was always a chance one of the sub-queens had laid an egg-cyst in a hard to reach place and we decided that the risk of one of those hatching halfway home wasn’t worth the reward of having the added stability of the lower superstructure and supplies that were left after the detonation.”
“So you jettisoned that segment of the ship,” the Commandant concluded, running his trained reading appendages over the report he was laying on, “sent it on a collision course with an asteroid, then voided the contents of your backup power supply, causing a nuclear detonation when the supply collided with the asteroid and the jettisoned section.”
The human’s face blanched so deeply that the pulsing blood vessel network was visible under the stripes.
“It was the only way to be sure,” he muttered.