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The product of English class (They wanted an interview, so I figured clumping it with prose would pump out more words per thought to meet the demand of 500). Based on Larry Niven's ProtectorUser:Serprex 19:17, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

“What follows in this transcript is an interview I was able to have with the first Pak to leave this planet in the past two and a half million years. Phssthpok has spent some years now with us childless protectors, working on a mission which will take nearly fourty thousand years to complete,” Pshponok looks at Phssthpok, waiting for a moment before continuing the clatter of Pak speech, “Why do you think it is important to rendezvous with the Pak who branched off so long ago?”

Phssthpok does not stutter. He had already answered the question to himself recursively those few seconds after he had felt the need to rendezvous. “The Pak are my children now that I have none. Here, I am not needed. None of us childless Pak are needed. But there, there is a group of isolated Pak who sent calls of help when the Tree-of-Life roots would not grow. Therefore, there may be a mass of unprotected Breeders. Pak Breeders. Just as any other Pak would save his last defenceless children at any cost were he to have no use, we childless Pak are to save our’s”

“But the costs of research and production, is it worth the chance that they have not mutated, gone extinct, or have faced some other race altering disaster?”

Phssthpok recalculates all he had calculated time and time again. Pshponok’s questions aren’t surprising; Protectors are the most predictable of creatures. “While the ratio of cost to risk is indeed unfavourable, there is no other task to put effort into. Were I to not of taken on this task, I would have no use. I would of starved long ago”

Pshponok nods, reflecting on Phssthpok’s answer. “Forty thousand years. In that time, are you sure your commitment won’t waver?”

Phssthpok laughs inwardly. Outwardly, he remains calm. “Of course. I’ll have a purpose during that time. I will be spending forty thousand years dreaming. There will be nothing to deter me from my already set resolutions. That being said, the remaining Pak may ask that question of me after I have left. They will lack purpose, and so I will not be surprised if they follow. This will also insure that if anything happens to my ship, there will be a reinforcement to replace me”

Pshponok nods again, evaluating the time. At last he decides to ask the question that he truly wants to ask. “There are some who believe you to of spread a virus amongst other families to recruit their Protectors. Would the cost of attacking your race be worth the risk of this mission?”

Pshponok stares into Phssthpok’s knobby face, a face that still remains calm. The answer is simple: “Yes”

Pshponok waits a moment. He restrains lashing out at Phssthpok. His voice lowers, a flash of confusion at long last strikes him. Years have gone by since he asked a question in confusiong, and not in interest. “Why?”

Phssthpok tilts his head, a mere gesture. “Look at it this way: The Pak race fights with itself to succeed. Removing subgroups that are already doomed is only quickening the process of a stronger group’s take over. My method saves the group’s Protectors, however, since the virus only strikes Breeders. Therefore, allowing their downfall to go naturally would leave me without allies and them dead”

Pshponok nods at last. The confusion is gone, he understands what now seems so simple. While a victim of the virus might not understand, he can. He already knows he will have to wait until after Phssthpok leaves before recounting

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