DAY TWELVE

Write about acceptable losses…

John and Rodney were still arguing when they walked into Jillian’s office.  They were covered in ash and dirt and smelled of smoke and gunfire. 

“That was millions of dollars in equipment that you left behind there!  Not to mention the invaluable data from the samples we had collected.   With that soil and those plants we could have found the…”

“Rodney!” John bellowed, interrupting.  “We barely got out of there with our lives!   Did you want me to risk the lives of the entire scientific team for a few jars of dirt?”

They had left earlier in the day with Rodney leading a team of scientists in a research mission.   They plan was to harvest local crops and soil samples from a planet similar in size and climate to Earth.  John had gone along to pilot the jumper.  This was the fifth time a team from Atlantis had visited the planet.  Each time had been peaceful.  In fact there was talk of making a Beta camp there.  From the looks of it , things had changed.

“We have no way of knowing if they were a true enemy.  They only started firing on us when we got near the jumper.”  Rodney said.

“When they pulled guns, I had a pretty idea they weren’t our friends.”

“Maybe they were just startled.  Likely defending their crops from thieves like us.  It doesn’t matter, I can’t believe you left that equipment behind!”

“Rodney, I’m willing to sacrifice a lot of things for this mission, but human lives are not acceptable losses.  Machines are!

Jillian had had enough.  Walking up between them, she put a hand on each man’s shoulders and said, “Do you two need to hug it out?”

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