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 Gene

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Romp
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PostSubject: Gene   Tue Aug 20, 2013 12:54 am

(moderate length fiction story)

Gene walked along the paved path through the garden park. The weather was far two wet, the ground too muddy. He had met two strangers there on the previous day and they had asked him a question and told him he could answer it a day later if he figured out the answer.

"Art," he told them as he walked up to them.

They smiled. "But you like Math and Science so much..."

"Yes," Gene replied, "But I think you wanted me to hit it hard and the answer kept coming back, Art."

Gene looked at their smiles. He still felt that small fear of them that he couldn't explain yesterday or now--but the smiles, he now started feeling something else.

The two men walked away from him. The path curved and went into a forest, and soon they were out of sight.

Suddenly something fired in his brain and it gave him a question. He told himself to let it go--but a second later, realized he couldn't. He had to ask, because they might know. He started to run. His brain started trying to guess where they would be, based on how fast they were were walking and how long it would take him to reach the curve.

And then they weren't there.

Gene screamed the word "Hey!"

And there was no one to listen. After the curve the path was straight for half a mile.

Gene ran along the path looking for footprint tracks that would tell him that they had ventured off the path, but he already knew there would be no footprints.

He stopped at the end, panting. More than one explanation exploded in his mind. But it didn't matter. Every possible explanation required something of these two strangers, for no one on Earth could do any of those things.

---

The junior writer looked at the specifications, and then he raised his hand.

"Yes?" Gene looked at him.

"I have a problem with this Prime Directive thing. I mean, it looks cool the way you explain it, really, but we have to look ahead to what we will want to do with stories in the future and you just, it, it just puts too much of a drag on what we can do. We need to throw it out."

Gene looked at him. "The Prime Directive will give our series more authenticity."

"With all due respect, sir, I believe it isn't needed so much. If someone sees a UFO and they are smart, they don't tell anyone because they don't want to be called crazy, so it's like a droplet of water hits a pond, and yes there is a wave, but it disappears very quickly."

"No," Gene shook his head and then he stood up.

"No, no, no, no! You do not understand! If someone sees something and they know it is real, it's no longer people talking in whispers of a speculation that dies unanswered in its appeal to the gods of evidence. When someone suddenly knows that they know something because they saw something, YOU HAVE NO FRAKKING IDEA HOW MUCH IT CHANGES THEM FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIFE AND HOW MUCH THEY MIGHT DO BECAUSE OF IT!"

He paused.

"Got it," the junior writer whispered. "I can work with the Prime Directive."

Gene Roddenberry's face quivered and then he pushed it into a smile.

"Yes, it will make for difficulty. You were good to see that. We will let it bring conflict to our stores too."

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