The Prime Directive

15B1941F-4ADD-4479-9952-ED542AE34B57The small shuttle craft touched down on the planet after having transported the small crew to the planet’s surface from the mothership.

As the team prepared to exit the space ferry, the captain reminded the crew of their prime directive. “If we come across any alien life forms, remember that each sentient species has the right to live in accordance with its normal cultural evolution,” he said. “We must not interfere with the healthy development of alien life and culture.” The crew nodded their consent to abide by the directive.

The astrogeologist on the crew, Dr. Burnside, said, “Our mission is to search for and collect diamond-like minerals that are supposed to be abundant on this planet.”

“And our subsidiary task is to observe any sentient life-forms we might encounter while participating in the primary mission,” the captain said. “But remember, we’ll  be on the surface for just an hour, so finding any living beings is like butterscotch sauce on vanilla ice cream. It’s secondary to collecting the minerals.”

An hour later, the crew was preparing to head back to the space ferry. Each crew member was carrying two containers of minerals when one of them saw something moving out of the corner of his eye. He let his containers drop, pulled out his weapon, and shot the moving target.

The others looked on in horror. “What have you done?” the captain shouted. “You disobeyed the prime directive!”

“Captain,” crew member, Derek Forsyth, said, pointing to the carcass of the giant, lynx-like creature he shot, “that beast was about to pounce on Ensign Smythe. I had no choice.”

“Our body-cams will be submitted for review once we return to the mothership, Forsyth,” the captain said. “The tribunal will then determine if any disciplinary action should be taken.”

Written for today’s Three Things Challenge fro Paula Light, where the three things are sauce, diamond, and lynx. Also for these daily prompts:  Word of the Day Challenge (ferry), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (prime), Your Daily Word Prompt (subsidiary), and Ragtag Daily Prompt (drop).