LEARN from housewives. Before dispatching an armada of destroyers to the Planet Primus on the far reaches of its system, the Technical Committee (TC) checked the archives for what is known about an extraterrestrial chunk of real estate that is three-fourths submerged in water.
The archives custodian brought out only one small box containing a few brittle sheets. These were lists, much like the ones a cost-cutting, space-maximizing housewife keeps of the stocks left in the refrigerator and “aparador (cabinet)” so she knows exactly what to pick up at the market, no more, no less.
The first list inventoried resources:
One planet. For exploration. Dry core peopled. Ruled by dictators.
Sea colonized. Moons harvested six times in a cycle. Lunar source of power and spectacle. No signs of depletion.
The second list sketched the assets:
Abject subjects. Terrorized by law and extra-legal justice. Animation suspended. Trade-in value of window-display democracy. If wrapped in oxo-degradable plastic, may be disposed of as “malata (earth-friendly).”
Greedy, corrupt dictators. (Note: Adjectives are cheap; hence, the overuse; placed here to flag lazy archive researchers that these are the key vulnerabilities, generic to the type but always dependable for exploiting.)
The third list was more wordy as if the list-makers, in describing what the planet had in store as its sole liability, desired to advise and arm in advance the TC of a future but inevitable invasion to destroy the Enemy of the State long before an actual violation on the pure supposition that malice harbored in malcontents erupted at the least provocation, sometimes even with none:
Mothers. Incubators of the Moons. In street slang, “bolsa (pocket)” for limitless capacity to breed and grin. The ideal pocket is capacious but invisible, an extension of the organism that is meant to remain flat to the point of invisibility, expand or contract upon demand, hide well any found ephemera or secrets.
This last inventory had a more recent note attached to the original sheet, “Peligro (danger)”:
“Manggugubot (anarchists).” Mothers recently infected with perverse psychotic attachment to their children, particularly the males that are regularly sacrificed for the surface spectacles, War of the Moons. “Why kill?” movement bonds mothers. Last dictator unable to put down uprising from total absence of subjects, wiped out in the final purge.
Conclusion: “The Mothers of the Moons have disintegrated into ‘maot nga bolsa (ugly pockets)’ of dissent and rebellion.
“Discard and dispose; no need to restock.” It was, as the archivist noted, a quite small box of mean content.