Tuesday, June 30, 2009

[dilemma for the day] new series, part one


After the coup, the loyalists crammed on board four mini-subs and fled for the uninhabited island they'd predetermined to secretly live on ever after. The island was so configured that cover was excellent, in the form of caves in the hill, there was wildlife and they'd brought seeds and the necessities of life. The subs were well armed but those remaining twelve missiles had to be used sparingly and only on genuine 1st world targets, when absolutely necessary.

They surfaced in a little bay and a reconnaissance crew went ashore to ensure the island was as deserted as they'd calculated. To their dismay, they found four war canoes and soon found the warriors. In their parley, by sign language, a surly type indicated that they were an advance party from their own island a thousand kilometres away and this island had been chosen as the place the tribe would settle.

The fugitives had a problem.

The surly type picked up on this, began making demands, then got nasty. Spears were raised and were about to be be thrown when the Lieutenant whipped out a handgun and shot the surly one in the leg. The warriors appeared stunned, then all fled further inland. The crew returned to the sub and communicated on secure channel with the other three subs.

Immediately, they looked outside and the warriors were swarming all over the subs, hacking at the surface with their spears. Enraged, they jumped into their long war canoes and started paddling at great speed for the open water.

'Sir,' said Captain Laurence Sanders to his superior officer, 'if even one of those canoes makes it back, our cover is blown and either we'll have a whole island full of warriors to contend with but even more likely, GPS will pick up their return, at speed. That will interest our former nation's new rulers greatly.'

'What do you suggest, Laurence?'

'You know as well as I do, Sir,' he answered. 'We have to take out every last one of them before they get too far out to sea. If we take them out right now, they'll drift back to shore. Past the point, they could drift anywhere.'

'NO!' screamed the senior officer's wife. 'No, that's pure genocide.'

'Emma,' said her husband. 'What would you suggest?'

'Talk to them, let them see how much damage we can inflict if we wish to, destroy their canoes but don't kill them!'

'If our missile hits their boat, the boat and crew disintegrate.'

'Sir,' advised Lieutenant Adam Brothers. 'At a minimum, it would take four of our twelve missiles - total wastage. And what if we really need them for the usurper's fleet later?'

'We'll put it to the vote immediately. There are six men, six women and I retain the casting vote. We either fire in the next two minutes, before the lead boat reaches the point or we don't fire and we'll have to try to ram their boats and save some of the crew.'

'Which would leave us in permanent danger on the island from their attack, especially at night and if any escaped, we'd be right back where we were,' muttered Laurence.

'Right, no time to lose,' snapped the superior officer. 'If you vote to shoot, the ultimate responsibility is mine because that is what I'm voting to do. So, all of you. To shoot or not to shoot? Come on people, no longer than a minute to decide. Any hesitation I'm going to count as a yes.'

What is your decision, reader?

10 comments:

jams o donnell said...

Hmm, how about ramming the boats, disarming the warriors and put them to work in the pepper mins that will become the basis for a strong new economy?

James Higham said...

My little contribution.

We could delay, then knock the front off all four canoes with the subs, thereby saving our missiles.

We'd take survivors onboard up to our capacity, disarmed as they come aboard.

They'd have to be watched 24/7 and at any move on their part, that warrior would need to be shot.

We'd eventually have to shoot all because they'd perceive their danger and impotence and would try to steal our weapons.

This would endanger our females and our prime directive was to propagate the species.

In summary, if we delay now, on humanitarian grounds, we'll have to do it more personally and gruesomely later, one by one.

Both they and we would be living in constant fear in the meantime.

If we took them all out now, it would be instant, with no survivors although debris would wash to shore over the next two days and we'd have to clean it up.

Given that this in itself would traumatize the most sensitive people in our crew and damage relations with me forever, they are not sufficient grounds to hesitate.

If we are not to allow them back to their island, then we must act now.

Shoot now, be accurate and get it over with.

Honey said...

Are we doing this for fun?

Why not catch them and eat them...

James Higham said...

[Welcome, Honey.]

Thanks also, Jams.

His Girl Friday said...

"dam-n the torpedoes, full steam ahead"
Survival means making unpopular decisions sometimes, to put it briefly. Peaceful negotiations would be the optimal choice, however.

No thanks, Honey, too gamey ;)

Lord T said...

You seriously think a sub is maneuverable enough to cripple four separate canoes? Even if it was would you seriously risk damaging its diving planes taking out enemy craft when it is a quarter of your only means of defense and escape?

You would have speed and firepower. Sink the canoes quickly from afar so they don't scatter, take the survivors back to the island as prisoners and then decide what to do with them. 1000 miles is a bit far for a few canoes. Is there another force nearby?

And why are you letting women get involved in what are military decisions? Is this survival or not? Plus killing four canoes worth of a group/country whatever is not genocide. Remember she knows that the other side will not kill her but merely take her prisoner as the wife of an enemy. You on the other hand will be tried and executed.

xlbrl said...

I don't think we are going to use nukes to kill a few marathon boaters. Plenty of other ways to do that.
Or you could give them Emma to take back with them, and a few cases of beer. I would. No telling, it might lead to a useful alliance.

James Higham said...

HGF - peace negotiations with four canoe loads of fleeing warriors? How will we get their attention first?

Lord T - thy're very little subs and oh, huge great, long war canoes. :)

Xlbri - Emma would be delighted.

Anonymous said...

Find another island.

Too many risks attendant with that one, whichever way any of the above actions play out.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:38

You could also argue that the crew of the sub have no argument with the natives. To attack them makes them no better than those they flee from.

The native non return to their own island would no doubt trigger further visits seeking explanations.

Find another island is the best.