The Moral Queen, A Science Fiction Story
November 24, 2009
The Moral Queen, by Adrian Perez
Bluewood doors swung into the entrance hall of the Imperial Chamber. The red fabric and yellow imperial flags were something to behold. It gave Felanx a feeling of claustrophobia he should have not been able to feel, having grown up in cramped space stations.
Felanx was born into poor territory. He had never been in a space station as old and worn as this one. The fabric was all “handmade.” He could not imagine the hundred craftsmen at work in the exterior side chambers.
As Felanx drifted towards the Queen’s chamber he conjured the image of a queen honeybee. Unconsciously, he cooled his jets. The guards turned toward him to see why he was slowing down. Their regiment armor scanned his biosignals for threat.
The guard above him pat him on the back, and said, “Don’t worry she’s not going to bite you…hard. If you were in trouble we’d be escortin’ you to the dungeon.”
Felanx was thankful for the comfort, but still nervous. Only one more layer of Bluewood doors stood before him and the Queen. The pressure hatch opened and Felanx gasped a breath designed by the architect of the interior royal chamber.
In the middle of what looked like a thousand pink and yellow jellyfish, the Queen reclined in a bubble chair, lazily looking out of the largest window that Felanx had ever seen in a space station. It felt dangerous to go in. He would be sucked out into space with all those sea creatures, and the dazzling creature they caressed in that delicate transparent bubble.
A guard gave him a slight tap and Felanx drifted into view of the Queen. The doors snapped shut behind him.
She turned. Stunning red eyes gazed on him. They lacked the eerie quality of white lab rats. From head to toe she wore a single unitard like a commoner. Felanx knew better than to stare, but beauty does not strike you through knowledge. It traverses a more visceral path.
The genetically engineered jellies contorted into a column and jostled her throne closer to Felanx.
“Felanx of Aragnor,” her powerful voice pounded through the chamber, “I have brought you here to help me with a crisis. Enter into Morality with me.”
Felanx rubbed his feet together. The proposal was terrifying. Morality meant they would share thoughts and feelings that were artificially heightened, to create starker contrasts between good and bad.
“It was not an invitation,” the Queen swept him up in her column of creatures. And she yanked him into her bubble throne.
They both trembled, their eyes tightly shut, as information began to pass through the transmission pores in their hands. She echoed his terror at being connected. She had never been allowed to do such a thing in her life, as a restriction of Royalty. Felanx saw this and it calmed him.
The calm was short as a secret war transmitted to him. The towering jelly fish which he assumed were an ostentatious form of transportation, where in actuality an extended central nervous system. Like the queen bee, she actually was larger than the rest of them. Her mind connected out to the Imperial Fleet in a desperate battle.
Their once-upon-a-time neighbors, the Aelephany had turned on them for some reason. The connection between Felanx and the Queen intensified into Morality. The slow process of step-by-step developmental analysis fused with the leaps and bounds of intuition. Together they navigated the morality space of what they might have done to anger the Aelephany. And to discover the right thing to do.
Felanx knew why the Queen had summoned him. It was a paper he published ten years ago about theories of conflict-prediction with rational actors. She perceived in it a great tool to enhance the impression of Morality. Felanx did his best to summon his knowledge about the Aelephany and their major cohorts. He used this Math to inform the Queen. Even with all of her knowledge, it was clouded by a million predictions from a million advisors.
She broke hands with him. He felt quite relieved, and from the look of her face she felt the same way. Then he started to cry like a man hearing of his lover’s death. They had reached the same conclusion.
Right now the Imperial Fleet was powering down defense fields and burning into slag. The Imperium was wrong in the war, and he had convinced the Queen of the right course of action. They could not sustain their unjust violence. The sudden action confused the Aelephany into a cease-fire. And the Queen immediately offered the sub-kingdom of Aragnor in reconciliation.
Felanx doubled over in anxiety for his homeland. The Aelephany were a cruel race. His family would not fair well. His Math combined with the emotion and information of the Queen told him the Aelephany would refuse the offer. But some things known in the mind have no effect on the gut. Especially if you know the Aelephany will halve the population of the conquered province.
The Queen picked up the racked body before her, and whispered to him, “Go back to your people Felanx of Aragnor. They are safe, and you have done well.”