The Sleeping Beauty Nuclear Incident
I suppose I owe an explanation to our star system and to this court. The first thing you need to know is that all of this was an accident. I’ve heard people say I went looking for trouble, that I’m some kind of criminal. The truth is — I just thought I’d found a pretty girl in an abandoned spaceship.
Everyone knows the legend: “Long, long ago a beautiful woman was put into cryosleep on her way to a new planet, but something went horribly wrong, and she’s been floating through space, fast asleep, ever since.”
I’d like your Honorable Justices to know I never believed that nonsense. I certainly didn’t go looking for a girl from a legend. I went looking to, shall we say, liberate some resellable materials from an abandoned ship. It was all perfectly legal. You can check the salvage laws.
The woman was a complete surprise. I’ve been with some beautiful women, but she shone brighter than the other stars, if you know what I mean. Unfortunately, the cryotube was right next to the — um, well, the thing I needed the most. So I unhooked it and scooted it over. The ship was abandoned, so I thought she must be dead in there.
I don’t know how long I was on the ship, but I was just coming out of the storage locker when I saw her. She was standing there looking like she hadn’t been lying around for who knows how many hundreds of years. She wasn’t very polite, but I thought, hey, I’d be grumpy too if I was woken up like this. It wasn’t hard to charm her. I told her how good she looked after all that time asleep and invited her to board my ship. We hit it off just fine after that.
She particularly liked the idea of going to Roet. I thought she was interested in the thermal springs I’d told her about there, not the thermonuclear weapons. I only mentioned those because she asked what the place was famous for. She would’ve found out eventually.
Did I get a bad vibe? What kind of court is this? No, I didn’t get a ‘vibe.’ She did have an unusually strong grip, though. Before I brought her onto my ship, she tried to put me in a headlock. Okay, she did put me in a headlock. I let her — to show I wasn’t a threat.
I asked her some questions about when she was from. She didn’t seem to remember much. Now that I think about it, though, she did get an odd look on her face when I asked her why she’d been traveling to a new planet alone. At the time, I thought she was just annoyed about what had happened to her. Who wouldn’t be?
No, your Honors, there weren’t any records on her ship, the computer system was blown. I only know what she told me, which wasn’t very much — not enough for me to have guessed what she was up to. She said she’d been in a little trouble before she left. I figured she’d broken a few hearts. She said she was superior to other women. Do I look stupid enough to argue with her?
No, I didn’t give her classified information. A guy like me doesn’t have the clearance for that. She said she felt “stardazed” after being asleep for ages. She wanted to catch up on current events, so I tried to fill her in. I told her about who’s in charge of what, the newest ships, and the biggest breakthroughs in AI. Just stuff everyone already knows or could hear on the news.
Yeah, she did seem interested in the Varelians, but you have to admit, they are interesting. What was I supposed to report? Curiosity?
Of course, I didn’t give her the codes to the weapons depot. I don’t know them myself. She did see me using my special algorithm to hack the customs AI, but honestly, you’d think weapons would have better encryptions.
Okay, I confess, Maybe my salvage wasn’t perfectly legal. You can fine me if you want. But come on, do you really think I’m part of an organized gang of criminals who made this happen? Me?
Look, all I did was rescue a woman from a derelict spaceship. I thought I was doing a good deed. You can’t imprison me for that. Can you?