Such Risk, What Reward by Jonathan Ficke

I carry the last remnant of human civilization aboard the Ark-7 — tens of thousands of embryos and the technology necessary to rekindle humanity. Receiving an algorithmic signal indicates an alien civilization awaited us at Gliese 667 Cc.

Quarantine procedures failed prior to launch, so I also carry N. Pestis, a synthetic nanoscale virus designed to infiltrate and destroy bacteria based pathogens. It ended life with indiscriminate efficiency and drove us aboard the Ark. My crewmates died, but I lived. Will N. Pestis consume alien life? Is humanity worth spreading this plague?

As first contact looms, the time to decide approaches.

Jonathan Ficke lives outside of Milwaukee with his beautiful wife and daughter. His fiction has appeared in Writers of the Future: Vol. 34, and Tales of Ruma, and he muses online at and tweets (mostly about writing, basketball, and woodworking) @jonficke.

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