Author's Note: First with the clichéd obligatory: no I did not create District 9. This work is a fan fiction and the characters Melissa Etheridge, James, Emmie, and others are original characters that will only be used for this story.
While I have an idea of how the story will play out I am not certain I will actually write it out from beginning to end. Real life and lack of inspiration can get in the way of things. Whether or not I complete this project I hope you enjoy the read. Please post a review, whether you like it or not.
Melissa Etheridge was exhausted. She arrived in Johannesburg from New York only two days ago and just wanted to crash into her bed. Her new apartment was still in boxes, her car was a rental, and at work she and the other new doctor had been shuttled from one site to another, instructed on protocols and classes instructing the new doctors on alien anatomy, alien language and how to treat different ailments. James Elsmann was able to convince her to go out to dinner. She was about to reject him, but he insisted that it was not a date, simply a meal for coworkers to get to know each other better.
"So what did you think of District 9?" James asked Melissa.
She laughed and looked out the restaurant window. The street outside was plunged in darkness, except for the passing cars and the occasional person passing by. "Well, I think it got me a job, which is good. I mean, since the documentary has come out MNU has had to scramble to repair its image. But I found it rather disturbing what it revealed about this company."
"You mean the company you're now working for?" James asked.
Melissa sighed and decided to eat some of her salad while she thought of an answer. "Well, I guess I just believe in justice and compassion, and I think as long as I stick to my convictions I can have a good influence on the company. Not only that it's a great opportunity to be a medical professional working with a completely different species that is equal to us."
Ever since the release of the documentary District 9 MNU had a PR disaster on their hands. The public outrage of medical experimentation forced the company to change policies and come up with a way to appease MNI (check) and government officials or face being shut down. One of the strategies they came up with was to create a medical division to treat and care for the injury and illness of the aliens. While they sometimes allowed doctors to treat the aliens residing in District 9 the care was shoddy. The Doctors did not know how to treat their patients, could only take those requiring the most critical care and were unable to follow up on treatment. With the PR disaster MNU hired doctors worldwide who were fresh out of medical school to do their residency in Johannesburg. They had the new doctors trained in alien specific illness and treatment, and put them under contract to only serve District 9 patients.
"What, you think prawns are equal to humans? How so?"
"Oh my God, are you serious? Is that a serious question?"
"Should I make a case in how they are not equal to us?"
"Well, look at this. They obviously have the capacity for a complex language which we know and understand. This is something that has only been well observed in humans before they arrived. They were on a starship which shows their technological capacity may exceed our own…"
James interrupted her, "but they don't know how to work the thing, which shows that ship could have belonged to someone else. Maybe they were a bunch of pirates trying to take over and they pushed the wrong button that stranded them here."
"I disagree. We know the weapons they sometimes carry and are stockpiled on that ship are activated through a genetic verification. Only their species can use it, which means the weapons are meant for their use. If the weapons are theirs then I don't see why the ship isn't."
"Okay, maybe there is something there, but they don't exhibit any sort of social order. They steal things, murder people, destroy infrastructure, and they don't show any sense of ability to order or produce a leader. I bet if a bunch of humans crash landed on some foreign planet they would set up camp and start looking for shelter, sustenance, water, and would appoint teams and a leader immediately. These guys can't function. They can only take from us and cause mayhem while they're at it. If we weren't providing for them they would have never found a way to support themselves."
"That is probably due to them finding a different evolutionary strategy."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, we come from primates so our society has a natural hierarchy. But since we are very similar to one another we can easily take on different roles. We also place great value on our individuality and compete against one another. The sense of competition creates new ideas and innovation and allows for people to learn and adapt. I think Poleepkwa probably have a hierarchy but a very strict one. If they have a hierarchy where the leaders are a different race from soldiers and soldiers are a different race from laborers and so on and one class gets cut off from another then they won't be able to function properly."
"So you think these guys are a bunch of grunts? Like they're a bunch of soldiers or something?"
"Yes, and without the leadership they don't know how to operate. So they are not inferior, they simply have a different form of organization then we do, and they're paralyzed."
James sighed, "Yeah, to be honest, that's what I'm afraid of. That Christopher Johnson guy left a year ago and I'm wondering who's coming with him when he comes back."
"Isn't he just going to rescue his people and leave?"
"Maybe, but imagine this. His destination is two million light years away and it's going to take him 1.5 years to get there? We can't even get past the moon. Imagine if a US Naval vessel ended up having its engine and electrical grid knocked out and the entire crew ended up stranded on a tropical island with some tribe living on it. Imagine these guys with spears and bows and arrows take our guys as prisoners and hold them for, oh a few years. Sure, they can do it, but once Washington figures it out we can do whatever we want to the island. We could nuke them off the face of the earth if we wanted to and nobody would object. If you recall in District 9 their home world has seven moons. Now, for a life sustaining planet to have that many moons without their gravitational pull tearing it apart means that the planet must be huge. Not only that, they can go to other planets to get whatever resources they need. If one ship can support over a million aliens, there could be between 100 billion and a trillion of them easy. Add advanced military technology to that and you can see what we're in for. If the Prawns want to blow the earth up they will."
Melissa swallowed hard, "I take it that's one reason why you're here."
"I'm hoping when CJ brings in the Calvary they'll choose to be charitable to some people."
"So you're here to play it safe?"
"I took the job offer because the Poleepkwa have been treated wrongly and they need help."
"Well, I commend you for your ethics."
"And while I find your concern sound, the source of motivation is deplorable."
"Well, I think we'll find a way to work past our differences."
"Well, I think I'm done. I expect to keep this relationship professional. Have a good evening."
She paid for her meal silently and then walked to her car. She thought about what a waste of time the dinner had been, and how she should have gone home immediately after work. Lack of sleep decreased job performance she reminded herself, and she thought about how she was going to make certain to go to bed early after work tomorrow. She pulled out of the parking lot and started driving home. She reflected on her revulsion of James and why he chose to take the position as a doctor aiding Poleepkwa. She vowed to not let it affect her work, though she already disliked him. How could he be such a selfish person? To be a doctor she had to go through ten years of school, spending all her time studying the human body, medications, reactions, symptoms, ethics and every aspect relating to the human body in and out. Both her parents were doctors, her mother a psychoanalyst, and her father a general practitioner. They expressed great pride when she announced where she chose to do her residency, and was one of the pioneers in a new field of medicine. A doctor had to be selfless, to put all their care into treating the patient, to be available day and night and to be constantly in the know about new research and treatments. James disgusted her, for he was the embodiment of what a doctor was not.
The drive home was not very far, about twenty minutes. She had driven home tired before and thought little of it, but perhaps her body had endured too much. She kept her window open and kept mindful to remain alert, but the fatigue was beyond her control. She drifted a little, her reaction time growing ever larger. Something leapt in front of her car, and she tried slamming her breaks as hard as possible. Her body was thrown into her seatbelt, her head thrown forward into the safety air bag. Pain surged through her system. Her entire body seemed to ache and pulse as seconds counted by. Then it receded to her neck and face. Then she remembered that she hit something and went out of her car to see what, who it was.
She was able to discern a shape from the headlights, but it took a few moments for it to sink in and for the details to register. About ten feet from the car was a Poleepkwa, lying on the pavement still breathing but quite unconscious. She looked at the dent in her bumper and grew panicked. How much damage did this guy go through? She pulled her car next to where he was laying and she opened the back door. Normal procedure would have been to call the MNU to report it, but she felt that there was more risk in that then taking the matter into her own hands.