Welcome back favored speculative fiction fans.
I’d like to introduce you to a character I am working on. Normally, the first character introduced in a story is the protagonist. This can usually include the good guy (Captain America), the bad good guy (Riddick) or the reluctant hero (Bilbo Baggins).
However, for this story, I am starting with the antagonist as he is the main reason this story has gone from a short story and morphed into a possible novella or novel.
Johann Schaak is a man on a mission. He has watched his family wither and die from a horrible disease which he was only able to cure after the last family member, his younger brother Peter, died. Now, Dr. Schaak has made it his life’s mission to eradicate new diseases which crop up throughout the galaxy. Dr. Schaak wants to make sure that humanity has a fighting chance.
And he is willing to do whatever it takes to achieve his goals.
Hello and welcome back to Deep Impact on the Humanity Conglomerate News Network. I’m your host Abigail Wainwright-Weeks.
This week, I have the exclusive honor of interviewing a man who truly needs no introduction.
Doctor Johann Schaak, Director of BioGentetics and Disease Control for Humanity Intergalactic Conglomerate has been instrumental in correcting new gene therapy failings as well as saving the lives of tens of billions of our fellow humans scattered across the galaxy. He is now en route to a newly erected science outpost in the Eridanus system. We were lucky to have procured a strong signal to connect with the doctor.
AWW: Doctor Schaak, welcome.
JS: Thank you for having me Abigail. It’s a pleasure to speak with you and your viewing audience.
AWW: Doctor Schaak, you have been awarded the prestigious Galactic Humanitarian Award for the third time. No one else has had that distinction. And no one else, I might add, has yet replaced you as the youngest recipient. Please tell me what that means to you.
JS: Well, Abigail, I don’t work tirelessly for awards. While it is nice to receive the recognition, my main focus is keeping humanity alive as we move forth and conquer the stars. Over the past three centuries, humanity has gone from an Earth citizenry to one of galactic import. Or I should say–export. We have adapted to survive the various new elements of new planets and moons, have established a foothold in our corner of the galaxy and as such, we’ve opened up our species to new and unprecedented discoveries. It is only my duty to make sure that we continue to evolve as we expand our reach.
AWW: Well Said Doctor Schaak. I understand that you are on the medical frigate H.I.C. Reynolds. While you will be traveling through the Warp Bridge to the Eridanus System, what will you do to get ready for your new post there?
JS: As most people know, a new moon has been found in the inner asteroid cloud around Epsilon Eridani B. A discovery has been made on this new moon, one which we will not yet make public. We will be properly cataloguing and studying this new find. On my trip there, I will be setting up proper teams for each task as well as overseeing necessary administrative tasks.
AWW: My sources tell me that this new discovery has the potential to benefit mankind on a large-scale? I mean, otherwise, why send the foremost authority that we have?
JS: You are correct in this belief, Abigail. The preliminary findings show that if, no when, we are able to fully harness this new discovery, all humans will not only benefit but thrive on a new scale. This will be the dawning of a new evolution for us all.
AWW: Doctor, there are many who believe that you have a habit of taking, shall we say, shortcuts to some of your more prominent discoveries. What do you say to those people who question you being given so much authority so far away from home?
JS: Abigail, I would say to them that there are times when we have to be willing to take the larger steps to preserve our people. Humanity could have been wiped out centuries ago when the Earth began wasting away. That planet–now a prison colony–stands as a testament to the follies of our past. At that time, there were less than 10 billion humans. Now, there are over 93 billion human beings living–no thriving–in no less than 9 star systems and continuing to expand our reach. Were it not for our forefathers stepping outside the box and pushing the limits of human endurance, we would be extinct.
I consider it my duty and calling to make sure that extinction does not occur.
AWW: But Doctor, there are many who feel you only look out for the interests of the wealthy and necessary. What would you say to the people living in ghettos on Mars in the Sol System, or the people on the mining colonies throughout the Epsilon Indi system who took to picketing and work stoppage to get better living conditions? It seems that more and more resources are being spent to expand our reach and keep the wealthy safe, but the common man is being ignored. Will this new discovery help them as well?
JS: As far as Mars, that was a failed colony which, because of mass rioting over 180 years ago, caused most of humanity to abandon that planet. We had no choice then but to expand to Alpha Centauri and on to our new home in Tau Ceti. Those people chose to live apart from the rest of humanity. They chose (he stops himself as he realizes his voice is rising). They chose that life for themselves and their offspring. As to the miners in Epsilon Indi, they were told the risks of mining the gas giants and planetoids there. To act as if what is happening there is news to them is appalling. If they don’t like the conditions, they are welcome to break their contracts and move on.
AWW: Doctor, I think we all know what will happen to them and their families if they break the contracts. There will be more unemployed, underfed, homeless humans drifting throughout the star systems. But you didn’t answer my question. Will this new discovery benefit all of humanity or just the wealthy?
JS: It is entirely too early to make any assumptions. However, I will say that it is my intention for this to benefit everyone. (That is, everyone who matters, he thinks to himself).
(Taking a deep breath, Schaak looks away from Abigail as if listening to something off-screen.)
JS: Abigail, as much as I enjoy a truly lively debate, I’m being told that we are ready to go through the Bridge into warp. I am going to have to take a rain check on the rest of this interview. (Without waiting for her reply, his holo-image disappears).
AWW: Well, that seems to be all we have time for this week on Deep Impact. Thank you Doctor Schaak for taking the time to speak with us. We wish you a pleasant voyage to your new destination and wait with bated breath for the announcement of your latest discovery.
Join me next time when I interview that irascible and divinely handsome actor, Manu Thomas. Until them, keep focusing on the stars.
Abigail Wainwright-Weeks will return with more interviews of upcoming characters. In the meantime, join me next week as I introduce you to more of the behind the scenes of this new story.