Butterfly Colony, a story for the random prompt call

“So, let me get this straight.”

Alphonze Tertianno was a career bureaucrat, but he was thorough and conscientious about the paper he pushed & the beans he counted, although both were of the electron sort, of course.

“In the personal luggage of one colonist-“

“Which does not go through the same thorough decontamination as everything else,” offered the unhappy reporting assessor.

“-which does not go through the same decon as everything else, there were pupae?”

“Papilio aegeus, sir. Citrus butterflies.”

“And they…”

“They appeared to like the climate of Somascha Four, yes.” The assessor was being very patient. Either that, or she was trying not to laugh.

“…whose native species survive primarily on a series of…”

“On a very citrus-like plant, yes, sir.”

“Are you telling me Matthias Cornellius introduced a chaos butterfly onto our colony?”

“That…” It wasn’t a laughing matter. But it was a matter of laugh or cry, and thus… “yes. That is exactly what I am trying to tell you, sir.”

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