Author : J. S. Kachelries

The Flag Ship of United Earth docked with the Flag Ship of the Volk Empire (The home planet of the Empire orbits Barnard’s Star, the sun’s second closest neighbor). Three decades ago, these two “civilizations” fought each other in a titanic interstellar war. It was a fierce struggle that resulted in billions of deaths. Ultimately, both worlds negotiated, and sustain, a tenuous truce. Then, three years ago, an aggressive insectoid-like race from the Sirius System attacked the Earth. And, for reasons no Earthman could understand, the Volk came to Earth’s defense. After countless battles, the combined forces of Earth and Volk managed to destroy the Sirian Fleet. Today, Earth wanted to thank the efforts of the Volk, and to deliver a horrific message.

The Admiral’s Lounge of the UESS Australia contained only two beings: President Shuseki of Earth, and the Supreme Emperor of Volk, Diavolo the Great. “Emperor Diavolo,” said President Shuseki, “I do not have adequate words to express the profound gratitude the people of Earth have for the great sacrifice your people made on our behalf. We are forever in your debt.” Bioluminescence caused the two horns on the sides of Emperor Diavolo’s head to glow red; a reaction that President Shuseki recognized as the equivalent of a human smile. “However, Emperor, I must also inform you of other military developments. Two days ago, my C&C Staff told me that they launched a ‘Doomsday’ device into Sirius’ largest sun. This device is designed to penetrate to the sun’s core and begin a series of reactions that will cause the core to collapse. The sun will ultimately become a red giant. This will destroy all life in the Sirius System. Since Sirius is a relatively massive star, it will happen quickly, no more than five years. My Commanders tell me that this action was necessary because our analyses predicted that the Sirians would rebuild and attack again, if their species wasn’t exterminated. I though you should know.”

The Emperor nodded, and began to rise.

“Ah, there’s more, Emperor. I have also been informed that the prior administration launched a similar weapon into your sun, for the same reason, shortly after the truce was signed. I’m sure we would never have used it on your sun if we had known what an honorable race the Volk are. We are terribly sorry, and want to make amends. Your sun is a Type M star, which is significantly smaller than Sirius, so the implosion of the core takes much longer. We estimate that you still have another 50 years until your sun becomes a red giant. We are willing to relocate as many Volk as possible to Earth. We have set aside 10% of our land mass for you. It’s not the most fertile land, but you should be able to sustain yourselves.”

Again, the Emperor’s horns glowed red. A strange reaction, thought the President.

“That will not be necessary, President Shuseki,” said Emperor Diavolo. “We detected the neutrino fluctuations in our sun 25 years ago. We have been actively colonizing other star systems since then. We’ll be fine.”

“If you knew what we did, why would you help us against the Sirians?”

“Earth could not defeat Sirius on its own. After they crushed you, they would have come after us. But together, we could defeat them. It was simple self preservation. However, Mister President, since we are being honest with each other, I should inform you that we too have a ‘Doomsday’ device. I personally ordered its delivery into your sun shortly after we detected the rise in our sun’s neutrino emissions. Since your sun is substantially more massive than ours, we estimate that you have much less time; perhaps a month, before your sun expands into a red giant.” As he rose to leave, he added, “I hope you have plenty of sunscreen, Mister President. You’re going to need it.”

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