"Optimus, please dim the lights, we are almost ready," Relshek announced, taking two paces back from Adam's incubator.
Adam sat on the edge of his bed watching intently as every few seconds the large door at the end of the room opened and more and more people came through, shuffling down either side of the huge space.
"Why are all these people here?"
"To see you Adam, are you afraid?"
"Not especially, maybe a little nervous… I kinda feel like a lab rat."
With the room now filled with what looked like over a hundred people, Adam noticed the frequency of them coming through the door slow. Right at the back in the middle stood Lord Kelshen. Relshek turned away from the glass box and met his mentor's gaze, and as if communicating telepathically, Kelshen seemed to give him a subtle encouraging nod. Relshek used it as a signal to begin, and walked over to the left end of the glass box. He looked at Adam and nodded. Adam pursed his lips before nodding back.
"Optimus, voice amplifier."
Relshek tapped his mask and a thud could be heard all over the large room.
"Fellow scientists and ship's personnel, today we witness in front of us the answer and the saviour to our species. We also witness the regeneration and return to greatness of one very special boy from earth." Relshek's voice echoed throughout the swath of space and already, some had started to clap.
"Three doons of research… the hard work, the commitment and the belief has allowed us to stand here today and witness a piece of history being made. The boy before you is someone you, your family and generations of your offspring will realise saved our planet, saved our species and returned us not just to a system power, but to an interstellar power again."
The gathered crowd erupted into rapturous applause as Adam just sat on his bed dumbfounded and confused, yet to be told why he was so special.
"Let us make no mistake, already; each and every one of us owes our life to this one special human, either directly or indirectly." Relshek's voice began to crack with emotion. "And… and for that honour, we will cherish him, nurture him and defend him until our dying breath. Gentlemen of the Realm, I present to you, the exalted human… Adam Smith of Sol."
With euphoria and pride ripping through the crowd, Relshek travelled round to face Adam's glass box, took 3 paces back and bowed before suddenly the glass box shattered into thousands of pieces with the fragments evaporating like miniscule puffs of smoke.
Dressed in a pure white robe, completely cleansed and disease free Adam hopped off his bed and took a step forward, for the first time being free of his transparent enclosure. A lone tear could be seen making its way down his face as the crowed continued to clap and cheer. Slowly, Relshek slowly came out of his dramatic posture before saluting him in military style.
"I can breathe; it's ok Christian, right?"
"You can breathe my child, and now, you can be anything you want." Relshek said, sounding like he was now very close to the human equivalent of tears. Moments later Lord Kelshen came into view and stood next to Relshek patting him on the shoulder.
"Very moving my son… Adam, congratulations."
Adam shook his head. "I just don't get it, I mean, what is all this for?"
Relshek gathered his composure and addressed the boy closely, putting his white gloves upon Adam's shoulders. "I think you are ready to know Adam… I think you are ready to know everything."
Commander Zeka got up out of his seat just as Navigator Nozak brought the ship to a stop at the Commander's requested coordinates.
"Zoom in on sector five C and enhance, Nozak."
"Yes Commander, one moment please." Zeka kept his eyes glued to the view screen while Nozak pressed a series of buttons on one of his stations.
"THERE!" shouted Zeka, taking five paces towards the screen. "Jarek, Hail them, all frequencies!"
"Unidentified Purity Vessel, this is Commander Zeka of the Purity Science Cruiser Trandor, respond!"
Everyone listened for the slightest crackle… but there was only a deafening silence.
"Nozak, move us in to around five thousand omigens, I want to get a look at the name and number."
"Yes Commander Zeka, one quarter pulse speed."
The massive vessel's pulse engines roared into life sending 2 huge jets of blue hot plasma shooting into space as it majestically motioned forward.
"We should be in range for a close up on the mag-camera in a few heshtons Sir."
"Very good Nozak, in the meantime keep me updated on its position. Tactical, please track its weapons status as well. Something doesn't feel right about this."
Of course Commander," replied Weapons officer Salek.
As the Trandor headed on closer to the silent ship apprehension began to grow on the bridge with silence now the main sound in everyone's ears.
"Why doesn't she answer us?" Zeka asked, more to himself.
"Commander, I have a view of the ship now which should enable us to identify it."
"Very good Nozak, put it on the screen."
The bridge's view screen fuzzed for a moment before it was filled with a large grey space vessel that appeared to be stationary.
"Commander, it's an old Brava class battle cruiser… the three we had left were decommissioned five doons ago. It appears to be the Noor"
Just as Commander Zeka was about to respond the view screen was replaced with a face. "Zeka, go home… go home and stop following us," said the middle aged looking man.
"Gento? What the hell are you doing man… and why do you not have your mask on, put it back on immediately, that's an order!"
The man just smiled and moved back from his position revealing around 20 other men, all without masks, but still wearing the signature black uniform everyone seemed to wear.
"Zeka, we don't need the masks, we have no desire for this way of life anymore, and it's liberating."
"Gento, you are unwell, you must do the right thing and return that ship to the home world!"
"This rust bucket? No Zeka, you and the rest of the population see us as cannon fodder, as… as sterile, but there is a reason we do not attract. Mask or no mask we don't feel the urges you do."
"And that's not natural Gento, you and other like you are leading our planet to extinction, its wrong."
"I, and others like me cannot help who we are Zeka, we do not choose to be this way and yet we are still hounded as race destroyers, and why… because we do not wear the mask? Is not wearing the mask freedom?"
"Gento, I implore you… as an old friend, PLEASE, replace your masks and bring the ship home, bring it home!"
Gento walked right up to the screen, his face turning to that of sourness and anger. "You, just, don't GET IT, do you Zeka!"
The screen went blank before displaying the old ship again.
"Commander, they are powering weapons," Selak shouted, a little concerned.
"Selak, raise the plasma buffers… Bow, port and Starboard! Nozak, get me a stat on that ship's power… are they a threat to us?"
"Hmm, well Sir, the ship was built purely for battle, but its weapons are old and obsolete. Even with the Trandor being a Science vessel we should have enough to see them off as well as defend ourselves."
Zeka shook his head. "Old friend, why do you put me in this position" he muttered. "Ok Nozak, keep us facing the Noor and let them fire first. I don't want High Command accusing us of hostile manoeuvres on our own people."
"Very good Commander," replied Nozak, Plotting a tracking coarse to match the now hostile ship's movements.
"Jarek, try and raise High Command again. Tell them of our situation and that of the Noor. Tell them we are facing weapons attack from Lord Gento of Kaplan, give them the ship registration number and tell them we await instructions."
After the events of the large congregation had died down Relshek and Kelshen took Adam down a series of walkways to a room containing an oblong white table and chairs. They carefully avoided any route containing exterior windows which included the room they eventually found themselves in.
"Please Adam, be seated," Relshek offered, gesturing his hand to the seat heading one end of the table. Both the men took a seat either side and briefly sat in silence, before Relshek decided to speak.
"Adam, before we begin we want to know how you feel?"
"Yes, both physically and mentally. It's worth mentioning that you are no longer being administered the normality drug anymore and it's important you tell us if things become too overwhelming."
"Well, I have started to feel a little scared, I mean, all this, where is this place, and please be honest with me. Who are you guys and why do you all wear the same clothes, and… and why do you talk the way you do and wear those masks. Is this some kind of army… and why do you keep saying I'm not on earth anymore, I mean you can't be serious right. I mean, I thought you might be when I was in that box, but now I feel different, like kinda freaked!"
Adam stopped, but only because he had run out of breath.
"Anyway, physically I actually feel better than I ever have, which also freaks me out."
"We understand my child," Lord Kelshen said, placing his white glove on Adam's smooth hand.
Relshek pulled his chair in a little closer to the table and looked deeply into Adam's bright brown eyes. "Adam, although it has looked like we were keeping things from you this was never the case. You are free to ask all the questions you wish and Lord Kelshen and I will answer all of them with no hidden agenda. At the same time you need to understand the things you are going to hear will at times seem incomprehensible. The reason we kept the questions and answers until now was because we needed you to be strong both mentally and physically. Putting any undue stress on you during the incubation would have been both unfair and damaging to your recovery."
"Can't you just give me some more of that normal drug stuff; I think I felt better on that?"
"Unfortunately not Adam, it is toxic to you."
"Ok then, well start with the worst thing so we can get it out of the way."
"The worst thing?" Relshek repeated, sounding confused.
"Yeah, like you said there was some stuff I would find incomprehensible… let's start with the one that really ticks that box."
Relshek looked at Kelshen before looking back at Adam.
"Ok, well, you are aware that we have mentioned a few times that you were not on earth anymore. This is in fact the truth Adam, like everything else we have said."
Adam sat back in his chair and took a deep breath. "You know, I keep expecting candid camera to come out soon."
"Candid Camera?" Lord Kelshen asked.
Adam shook his head. "Never mind… so if I'm not on earth then where am I… the moon?"
"Not exactly. You are a little further away than that," said Relshek, sounding a touch nervous.
Adam's eyes grew wide for a moment. "How far?" he asked, now leaning forward.
"Twenty six point five trillion of your miles." Relshek replied, as if it was down the street.
"Wait a minute… wait a fucking minute! That is four point three light years away and around the same distance of Alpha-"
"Centauri!" Relshek cut in."Yes, how do you know how to calculate such huge distances and know it to be nearest star to your own solar system?"
"I did a science project on Alpha Centauri when I was eleven and got first prize. Some things just stick in your head. I was awarded a trophy for it. Which reminds me, where is my bag of stuff, and second, I thought you knew everything about me."
"We were unable to retrieve your bag Adam, I'm sorry."
"But my trophy was in there."
"Does the object hold significant monetary value Adam because here we do not-"
"No, it was just the only thing I ever won in my useless life and it was just a reminder that once I actually achieved something!" Adam cut Lord Kelshen off.
"Adam, you have and will achieve more in your life than you could possibly imagine. This is just the beginning."
"Beginning of what? Why am I here? And I want proof I am not on some movie set."
"Adam, look at yourself and ask the question, how is this possible. You are healthy and-"
"I want proof of where I am… what am I on huh? An alien planet perhaps, a spaceship… or Pinewood Studios, what?"
Adam, now feeling frustration got up from his seat and went to a door at the other end of the room.
"I bet if I walk out of this door I am gonna see what a joke you have all been having on me aren't i!"
"You may walk through the door my child, but you might not be able to yet accept what you see when out there," Lord Kelshen declared as Adam ignored him and ripped open the door. He almost fell backwards when right in front of him was a large room that was set up like an observation hall. 20 or so huge bulkhead windows lined the length of the room giving a stunning view of the stars outside as they appeared to gently float away in the distance.
Adam started to tremble. "What the fuck is this place," he muttered unable to stop staring through the gargantuan windows.
"Come and take a seat Adam," Lord Kelshen calmly requested. Adam slowly backed up until he was inside the room again and closed the door.
"Adam, would you like to rest… if this is too much for you and you would like to continue anoth-"
"No, how can I rest after seeing… that!" he said, pointing at the door he'd been through. "Tell me why… why am I here?"
"Adam, I am not being deliberately cryptic here but the best way to start answering that question would be to say you had something we needed and we had something we could give you." Relshek said.
"You're right, that was cryptic, explain."
"Before you do Relshek would you mind if I retired for the evening, I very much need to rest."
"Of course Lord Kelshen, I will report to you in a few hours."
"Kelshen rose from his chair and looked at Adam. "My child, please excuse me, I am an old man and tire easily, please allow Lord Relshek to tell you all and feel safe with his truthful answers."
Adam nodded, and followed Kelshen with his eyes until he left the room before focusing back on Relshek.
"He looks ill," Adam commented.
"Lord Kelshen is near the end of his natural life, Adam. Once one of our kind passes the age of a hundred and ten years old we no longer intervene in their health matters."
"For two reasons. We could in theory keep regenerating parts of their body and replacing worn out sections but we don't because every person on Purity has the right to die at some point, no one wants to live forever Adam, it's not our way."
"Oh… so the second reason?"
"If everyone kept living our planet would run out of resources because the circle of life would be stagnent with people taking up more and more space, not to mention it is also resource intensive to continually repair a person."
"Repair… such a cold word." Adam remarked, tutting.
"Really, what would you call it, Adam?"
"Healing maybe? These words you use, like fixing and repairing, you make people sound like they are machines with burnt out parts or loose cogs."
"I can see how this would sound to you Adam but our species is created and maintained in a vastly different way to you homo-sapiens."
"So anyway, now I am coming to terms of this mind fuck of a situation perhaps you can finally get round to telling me why I am here seeing as we never actually get to that part."
"Of course Adam… The blunt truth of the matter is our species has what you humans might call a chink in our evolutionary genetic code. Right now, we know it's happening because we can see the effects, but the how, when and why is still unknown."
"What sort of chink?"
"This is where it may get complicated to explain, but I will try and keep it simple for your human brain to absorb."
"You know Christian, if you were anyone else that had said that I might have been insulted, but please carry on."
Relshek took off his mask and placed it on the table. "As you wish Adam. Where would you like me to start?"
"From the beginning perhaps?"
"I will start with the problem on our planet and how you have saved it."
"Am I really that important, I mean, why me? I'm just a homeless kid."
"Adam, do not underestimate the importance of who you are."
"Sorry, I am just not getting why me."
"Adam, our species has encountered four planets with life since we have created the technology to venture out into the galaxy. One thing those planets have in common, including yours, is the way they procreate. You all have a stronger and weaker sex and that-"
"Wait… stronger and weaker sex… you mean like male and female?"
"Yes, that's correct Adam; although two of the planets are designed a little differently the principle is the same. So on earth you have male and female and the other three planets we have discovered with life have a similar design and so procreation is purely a biological process."
"Ok, I follow… so what's the problem."
"Ahh, well you may not have noticed because as you have seen we Puritans wear masks that conceal our identity. But in a description you will understand, we are all in fact male."
"Huh? You mean all of you?"
"Yes Adam, we are a single sex planet."
"So how do you make babies… how do you make more people so to speak?
"Hmm, it's difficult to put into your human words but I guess the easiest way to explain it is-"
"Wait, am I about to get my first Alien sex education lesson?" Adam asked. Relshek didn't appear to get his humour judging by his blank look. "Sorry, continue…"
"Well, males on earth have sperm yes, which is made in your testicals and then this interacts with an egg in the female."
"That's right… but again, interact is such a cold word. Try fertilising."
"As you wish, so yes, a sperm will fertilise and egg of the female human which will create a surplus human."
Adam rolled his eyes, but kept quiet this time.
"On purity we join two sperms of two males, fuse them and then incubate them until the organism is three of your earth months old. Of course, the process is a little more complicated than that but you understand the premise"
"My god, I guess that's where the saying two sperms don't make a right comes from," Adam muttered under his breath, covering his mouth. Relshek continued.
"After incubation the design phase starts and the two male partners can choose the look and personality of their offspring."
"Ok, well it sounds pretty fucked up from a human perspective but I think I understand. One question though… what does this have to do with me?"
"Well it all comes down to a chemical you might know as Testosterone?"
"That's a male hormone… my friend says all its good for is making you grow and making you horny."
"I don't understand the latter but I will continue," Relshek said, wearing a confused look. "We don't have that chemical but we do have something you could call similar but it interacts with our genetic code and is four hundred and twenty per cent more potent than your testosterone. Because of this we are a very sexually active species and this needs to be controlled because it if were not we would have a huge corruption of our genetic code due to cross contamination."
"Ok this part I don't understand… why would you have cross contamination? I mean why can't you guys just have sex with whoever you want if that's what rocks your boat?"
"Rocks our boat?"
"Christian, just carry on."
"On Purity we have eight different sub species which are not compatible with each other. They cannot mix Adam, doing so leads to serious defects and a weakening of the whole Puritan structure. This happened once before thousands of years ago before the age of technology and it all but wiped us out, so you realise the importance of what I am trying to say?"
"Not really, but if I was to take a guess are you saying that A has to mate with A and B has to mate with B and if A mates with B then the shit hits the fan?"
"Very good Adam, yes. So if we use your analogy of one of earths regional alphabets then you could say that our eight sub species are split into A B C D E F G H and two different letters must never mate."
"So this extra strong hormone thing you have going on, how does this all work if you want to have sex with whomever all the time... oh wait, the masks right?"
"Exactly Adam, very good… very good indeed. The masks have an inhibiter which dulls down the effects of our sex drive which allows us to abstain from temptation. Not to mention a covered face has an effect all on its own. We have encountered a similar practise with certain human religious factions."
"Hmm, yes Muslim females aren't so unlike you… just without the complicated parts. So are you really telling me that if you didn't wear these masks you wouldn't be able to stop yourself from having sex with someone?"
"Yes Adam, our genetic hormone is so strong it takes over everything and we are unable to function due to the power of it. We are a disciplined race but even this is not controllable and it would be catastrophic if allowed to go unchecked because such is the gravity of the hormone, Puritans are unable to control their urges sufficiently enough to make sure they do not mix with an incorrect sub species."
"So basically without the masks B would be having sex with F and A would be having sex with D simply because they wouldn't be able to resist?"
"Wow, you know if it wasn't for the genetic issue, I think having your life might be pretty cool."
"It's a burden, Adam; please believe me when I say that.
"So where do I come into all this again?"
"Well Adam, somewhere, somehow the code has gone wrong in an alarming number of people on our planet. We would normally expect a Puritan to become sexually active at sixteen years and one month, which is when they would get their first mask fitting but this has not been the case in some. In fact it is becoming what you humans would call a pandemic."
"So what's happening?"
"We call it Solitaryarolous."
"It is a genetic disease where the person feels no sexual desire at all. What is worse, they are repulsed by it. Due to the way our bodies work this also, whether coincidently or not, makes those people infertile and up until now we are not been able to stop it, reverse it, slow it down or find any way to find a cure on our own planet. In fact Adam, according to our extensive data it is increasing each year by a frightening percentage."
"What will happen?"
"If we hadn't found you, our computer simulation shows our species will be extinct in sixty seven earth years."
"Oh wow, so your whole planet would be gone of people like you?"
"Yes Adam, there would be no one left. Imagine if all male and females on earth stopped procreating because they felt no desire?"
"Sounds like most women anyway so I've heard."
"Really? Adam we did extensive research and found no problem with the wome-"
"Christian, It was a joke!"
Christian tilted his head, but chose to carry on.
"We mentioned to you about some things being incomprehensible, well the problem my people are facing is exactly that."
"And I can fix that?"
"It's been a long search and years of research Adam but we are confident that you can yes. We set up a base on your satellite called the moon some years ago. It took us fifteen years before that to reach your planet due to our old vessels being much slower than today and we waited. We did the same on the three other planets slightly before too."
"So how come you picked earth?"
"We didn't pick anywhere Adam, we had developed wormhole technology some time ago and it was just about seeing where the spatial tunnels went and then seeing how far away the nearest planet was which had life… earth happened to be there. In fact we found out how to manipulate space and time even before we had the ships to travel through them. Once we realised that leaving our own planet to find a cure for the survival of our race was the only option we poured everything into research. Pretty much the whole population of the planet was training to be a scientist at one stage. Despite what we were facing it was a golden age for our people and I don't think we will ever see such a coming together again."
"Wow… just wow. So, then you found me?"
"Yes, I'd been transferred onto the lead scientist team after extensive training. I was taught pretty much everything I know by Lord Kelshen. For nine years we relentlessly researched and finally we put together a formula that would put the link back in the broken chain. All we needed to do is find someone who had what we needed genetically and eventually we found you. And do you know what is amazing Adam?"
"Out of twenty seven billion individuals from four planets only two matched the rare genetic code we needed to extract and both came from earth."
"So where is the other person?"
"He had a gene which made him heterosexual to use an earth word, so although he had the genetic code we could hybrid into our own; his heterosexual gene was too much of a risk."
"Oh, well that makes sense. So what makes you think I am attracted to-"
"I know everything about you Adam, remember? Actually I cheated… you have the gene." Relshek chuckled for the first time in Adam's company.
"So you do do humour then?"
"I am learning fast yes?"
"Needs more practise… hang on, what do you mean I have the gene?"
"You have a gene that has determined your sexual preference, Adam."
"Hey, that's never been proven!"
"Maybe not on earth, but if you look at Purity's expertise in this area seeing as we are a one sex planet I rather hope you will trust our research on this.
"Ok, you got me… so just because I like guys you chose me instead?"
"Well yes because it is the foundation of our species so it fits in very nicely. In truth we do not know if it had added any value Adam because we never got to the other male. That choice was taken away when he died in one of your many wars with your own kind. So that left you and here you are."
"That's quite a stor… WHOA!" Adam cried as he was shook from his seat by a powerful jolt. Relshek quickly helped him up and ran to a com station located in the room they were in.
"Relshek to bridge, what's happening Commander Zeka?"
"Relshek, we're a little busy up here right…" Zeka failed to finish as another shockwave ripped through the ship. Relshek and Adam were thrown across the floor as the Trandor shook violently.
"Adam, are you ok?"
"Y-y-yeah, I think so, what's happening?"
"I am uncertain, but it feels like we are under attack. Get under the table and keep your head down. I will see what I can find out."
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