Swivelling his chair around, Alexander looked up at his cousin. Matthew was only two years younger than Alexander, but their age difference was sometimes exaggerated because of Alexanders overactive maturity.
Matthew came on board wearing dress pants, a collared shirt, a bow tie and a vest. It always shocked Alexander how much his cousin enjoyed dressing up, and he envied him for being able to do so. Struggling with obesity, Alexander couldn’t purchase such clothing, and even if he had, he couldn’t wear it as well as his cousin.
“Hey Xander, how are you?”
“I’m good. And you?”
Matthew looked around at the bridge. Everything was spotless, just as it was when he first got on board.
“Have you eaten anything?” Sniffing the air, he half expected it to be ripe, but instead a metallic, sterile fragrance filled his nose.
Alexander shook his head, letting out a long, noisy sigh. “I suppose I should, eh?”
“So, what have you found out?” Matthew said sitting in what he considered “his” chair.
Alexander recounted his night of travelling, and explained how strangely normal having the ship was starting to feel. “And I didn’t really give myself any time to work out how we are going to disseminate the technology on this ship.”
Matthew shifted in his seat. His face scrunched slightly. “Um, I have…”
Raising his eyebrow, Alexander nodded his head slightly, urging Matthew to continue.
“Well, I think we should do things slowly, and sell them for a good price. The ship can probably make all the things we need, and so we just need to sell them. We should probably start by patenting everything we can, before we show anyone anything though.”
Matthew took a long breath, “Especially if we want to get rich off of all of this.”
In shock, Alexander jolted and then arose from his seat. “Wait, who said anything about getting rich?”
“We have some of the most advanced technology on the planet. You think people pay big money for the cell phones and tablet computers that they have, wait until they get their hands on this.” The passion and greed were projected from Matthew like bullets aimed straight for Alexander.
“Actually, I thought we would give most of it away. Sell the rights to develop and produce different products to various large companies and pretty much stay out of the way. Make enough to have us all be comfortable. The General never said anything about being the central figures in reshaping everything.”
Matthew stood up as well, and got closer to Alexander, as though he felt that he needed to make his presence known. “I’m not saying we have to become billionaires, but this is a once in a lifetime chance to set us and our families up for generations. How do you know you aren’t supposed to make the history books, and be the central figure in this technological revolution?”
A small bit of Matthews spittle hit Alexander in the chin as Matthew continued to get more passionate, and even a little angry at the laissez-faire attitude that his cousin was projecting.
“There are a lot of unanswered questions, but the point is that I don’t want to be a central figure in history. I want the entire world to be a better place, and not just for the wealthy.”
Alexander turned and looked away from his cousin. “You know how hard it was for me growing up, and having next to nothing. My parents did the best they could, but I never had the cool new gadget. I don’t want to create a world where that divide is even larger.”
Calming slightly, Alexander continued, “Imagine if everyone could have an amazing smartphone? Or a computer that never ran out of electricity? Or people never having to worry about heating or cooling bills again? Fresh water for everyone. This is the world we could create.”
“This implant,” Alexander said tapping the side of his head, “has all the information we need relating to how we can do this.”
Both men flopped back into their chairs. While Alexander’s speech hadn’t wholly won him over, Matthew wasn’t willing to fight the issue any longer. “Well, this is your ship. I guess I don’t really have much of a say, do I?”
The comment was a bit flippant, but Alexander could feel the jealousy coming through his statement. With as kind of an expression as he could muster, he responded, “we are in this together.”
Sitting in silence, both cousins looked around the ship, avoiding each others gaze, and the tension slowly left the room.