Training Day by David Macfie
As the last mouthful of food was swallowed, Teacher called the group to order.
“We will now return to the training space where you woke up. Today you will be introduced to your new home and will learn of our activities there. We will discuss your roles in the reforming of the planet and examine any issues that you can see in our plan. I urge you all to ask as many questions as you have. The training will proceed much faster if you are all filly informed. We will break for a midday meal. I will show you the facilities on the way back. They are unisex and when you use them you will be escorted by your trainer. After the knowledge training, there will be a one and a half hour physical training session each day. We must make sure you are all at peak condition before we land. You will need it. The day will come to a climax just before we break for what you call dinner. That is when you will meet the Taurian leaders of this transport. Are there any questions?”
All eyes swiveled, expectantly, to Jamie. He hesitated for a moment, then cleared his throat.
“I have two. First, I assume that we will not sleep in the training space from now on. Where will we sleep? Second, how long will it take to get to our destination?”
Teacher looked at Jamie, with his head cocked to the side, in an almost human gesture.
“You are right, Jamie Calhoun. I should have dealt with those details. Each pair will have private quarters, where you will live together during this journey. You will be taken there by your trainers after dinner. All are close to this space and the canteen and your trainers will explain the routine we expect you to follow. Obviously, your trainer will remain in the quarters at all times while you are there. They will rest in a paused state until you address them by their number. As to the length of the journey, we travel at a warp speed that is approximately twenty five times faster than the speed of light so the trip will take about six of your earth months.”
There were several gasps of surprise, and Teacher demonstrated how sophisticated its programming was, by correctly interpreting the sounds.
“Please understand that the Taurians are much more advanced than humans in all respects. We have had space travel at warp speeds for twenty generations and advanced robotics for longer than that. Also, the average lifespan of Taurians is a hundred and fifty of your years, so our generations are longer also. We have been searching the galaxies for sentient life for at least two thirds of that time and humans are the first lifeform we have found that meets our needs. Are there any more questions?”
Jamie shook his head.
“Not for now.”
“Then follow as before,” said Teacher and set off at a rapid rate that had the captives scrambling to keep up. Again Jamie held back until he could follow and observe.
The training space looked like an intimate cinema, when they reached it. Now the chairs had names on the back with Jamie and Jenny first from the left as they approached the arc of chairs. Next came George and Elizabeth followed by Brian and Amy, Robert and Laura and finally Peter and Gillian. The order was male, female in each case. All sat, looking at the giant curved screen that had dropped in front of the window cover. Immediately the screen lit up, showing a planet from a distance. As soon as the image appeared, a commentary, in perfect English, began.
“This is the planet Androm as it was before our reforming started about one hundred and twenty of your years ago. The planet is in an orbit slightly closer to our sun than is Taurus, our planet. This means that gravity is stronger than our gravity, which is slightly less than earth gravity. So you will be quite comfortable with that aspect. Conditions have allowed life, as you know it, to evolve but there are no sentient beings. At the time of these images, life was concentrated in certain areas in two rings between the equator and the north and south poles. You will notice several things. First there are few clouds. The planet was much dryer than is conducive to real progress. You can tell this by the complete lack of blue denoting water anywhere near the equator. All land in a central ring round the planet was desert. Second you will notice smaller ice caps at the poles than is seen on earth so there was less stored water on the planet. Third the seas of this world were separated into northern and southern seas, which were not joined in any way. You can see them clearly in the images before you. You can also see the northern and southern continents, some of which were islands and some of which joined to the equatorial land mass. The green areas, north and south, were all close to or surrounding the lakes that you can see. This is what we found when we did our first explorations of Androm. The life that we found paralleled what existed on Taurus. Later we will show you some of the life that exists now. We will now take a sort break for you to discuss what you have seen. The images will continue to focus your discussion. You should talk about what you would have done to improve the planet for superior lifeforms. We will then show you what we have done since then so that you can compare.”
Lights came on above each pair and their trainers served refreshments and handed each captive and electronic notepad. Jamie led the discussion. The group developed a list with a description of each entry and then signaled to Teacher that they were done.
The commentary started immediately.
“Well done. We are pleased with your efforts. The notepads are linked to our intelligence network and your notes have been uploaded and compared to our own actions. It is gratifying that there is an eighty eight percent compliance between the two. Now, the images you will begin to see show Androm as it is now. Concentrate because your next discussion will focus on what else you would like to see. This should take until the physical training sessions.”
And it did take all of that time. When Teacher indicated that the theory was done for the day, Jamie had a question.
“Teacher, we feel that this task is not yet completed to our satisfaction. Will we be allowed more time to finish it?”
“Certainly,” responded the messenger. “This task is scheduled to take at least a week. So far we have just scratched the surface, as you might say. Now follow please.”
The robot led the way to the physical training center, which was opposite the canteen and next to the knowledge training space. Jamie was amazed. Although the training machines resembled those to be found in a gym on earth, that’s where the resemblance ended. The machines were uniformly bigger and all had a screen that was also bigger. Teacher explained each piece of apparatus. The common thread was that each of them was capable of monitoring, in real time, all the vital signs of the person training and all exercise was automatically adjusted to the capability of the individual and gradually increased as the fitness levels increased. The running machines were something else. They were all enclosed in a capsule and the machines were much wider than earth treadmills. All had been set up with virtual reality courses from around the countries of earth. Even the climatic conditions could be varied. The next surprise was that, through an arch, was a thirty meter swimming pool, saunas and spa baths.
“Today you trainers are going to assess your initial fitness levels and work with you to enter all those details in the machines. Tomorrow you start to train in earnest and all of you will exercise on each machine and in the pool. If you cannot swim properly you will be taught.”
All this was completed and the group were then led back to the knowledge training space. The sight that greeted them was shocking to the core. Waiting for them was a group of five individuals. They were huge. The smallest was at least two and a half meters tall and the largest half a meter taller yet. All were robustly built and fit looking. They were humanoid in general configuration – they had a similar body shape with head, torso, waist, hips, two arms and two legs. But their skin was dark green, their eyes much bigger and more rounded than human eyes and light green-yellow in color. Their heads were devoid of hair, like the rest of their visible skin, and almost spheroid in shape. They were, also, bigger than a human head relative to the enormous bodies. The hands had three fingers and two opposing thumbs and the feet had two backward facing toes and three forward facing. None of the figures wore shoes and all were naked except for a loin cloth covering their private parts that were in pretty much the same place as in humans. All five looked male. The captives were stunned into silence.