Springingtiger's Blog


Chapter 6: Who is Cain?

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Notes from the Enquiry into the conduct of Colonel Ash Cain on the IGS Roddenberry.

From the evidence of Dr, G Shaw.

Advocate Theophilus Paul: “Doctor Shaw, can a man live for centuries?”

Dr. Shaw: “In stasis, yes, of course.”

Advocate Theophilus Paul: “Out of stasis?”

Dr. Shaw: “Impossible!”

Advocate Theophilus Paul: “Yet the records state that he remained out of stasis for the whole voyage, how do you explain that?”

Dr. Shaw: “The records must be wrong.”

Advocate Theophilus Paul: “The records must be wrong because it is impossible for a man to live for centuries? Can you confirm that Colonel Cain is human?”

Dr. Shaw: “All the tests showed him to be human.”

Advocate Theophilus Paul: “Nothing to suggest any reason for unnatural longevity?”

Dr. Shaw: “There was nothing to suggest that he is anything but a normal, healthy human. Yes he has a slightly faster healing rate, but nothing to suggest anything abnormal. The Colonel is human.”

From the evidence of Technician First Class Iain Steiner.

Advocate Theophilus Paul: “So you are telling us that there had been a deliberate attempt to conceal that Colonel Ash Cain had remained out of hibernation for the whole voyage, how could that be?”

Technician Steiner: “Examining the logs of the crew members it would appear That when the Colonel woke them he simply told them he had just been brought out of stasis himself. When he put them back in stasis he told them he would handle the change over.”

Advocate Theophilus Paul: “Is that usual procedure?”

Technician Steiner: “It’s not correct procedure, but it’s not entirely unusual for rules to be bent on a long flight.”

Advocate Theophilus Paul: “Is there any record of any crew member challenging Colonel Cain?”

Technician Steiner: “No sir, but he was the senior officer. The records don’t show him waking the Captain during the journey. I almost didn’t notice anything, if Captain Crabbe hadn’t asked me to check the records because he had no recollection of being wakened I wouldn’t have found anything.”

Advocate Theophilus Paul: “What did you find?”

Technician Steiner: “That each individual log had been falsified to suggest that there had always been the correct compliment on duty and that the Colonel had taken his turn in stasis. However the individual pod memories didn’t match the logs and the Colonel’s pod had not been used.

Advocate Theophilus Paul: “How do you explain the anomaly?”

Technician Steiner: “Simple, for security reasons the pod logs are self contained and not linked to SocNet in case it goes rogue like the Web.”

Advocate Theophilus Paul: “From the records would you say Colonel Cain spent the whole journey from Mu Sector out of stasis?”

Technician Steiner: “From the records, yes. However there must be a logical explanation we haven’t yet found.”

Mayor Jackson of Obamapolis looked up from the papers, took off his spectacles and rubbed his eyes he looked at Captain Crabbe, then out of the window at the spaceport, then back to the the group around the table, each with an identical folder.

“I believe you have something to add, Shepherd Cain?”

An old man in clerical collar and black frock coat stood up and walked to the lectern in the room.

“The photos I am going to show you are not included in your folders for reasons of confidentiality.” He began as he pressed a button and a photograph of Cain, Colonel Cain appeared in the air beyond the table.

“This is our Colonel Cain, the next picture is one of my grandfather and Major Eden Cain at the Academy before my grandfather was assigned to the Overlanders. Major Cain was one of his instructors at the Academy.”

A second picture appeared and the priest cropped it so that it only contained the major, he moved the two sise by side.

“They could be the same man, I suppose.” Said the Mayor thoughtfully.

“We haven’t finished yet.” Said the Shepherd and projected a series of pictures commenting on each one in turn.

“Henry Cain-Barker, retailer on Beta Four, that’s nearly half a millenium ago. Next: Scot Cain Terraforming engineer prior to the settlement of B-4” Reverend Cain added picture after picture to the space ending with,

“And finally, may I invite you to observe this policeman at Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee?”

For a moment the room was silent until the Mayor asked,

“Are you seriously suggesting these are all the same man?”

“According to software comparison the probability is better than ninety nine percent…and before you ask, no the pictures are all genuine.”

The Station Head of Security, silent until then finally spoke.

“Assuming any of this is true, and I’m not convinced it is, what do you want to do about it? The med reports all show Cain to be human, if he falsified the crew logs it is a company matter, longevity is no crime and to my knowledge he has not been accused of any other. Both Bennie’s and the Planetary Settlement Authority state that Cain is not only valuable, but essential to their work. If you gentlemen will excuse me, I do have real and necessary work to do.”

As the Security Chief stood, towering over the others like a slightly scruffy Santa Claus, the Shepherd exclaimed excitedly,

“But if he is the Cain of legends think of what he could tell us, he could confirm the truth of the Bible!”

A smile broadened the Security Chief’s round face as he replied, “And he might equally tell you it’s all nonsense. Have you considered that? I’d leave well alone if I were you.”

As he left the room the Chief opened his phone and texted a number.

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