Author : Duncan Shields, Staff Writer

Do I consider myself a citizen of Earth? Do I consider myself a human? Am I an alien sympathizer? Members of the council, I fear I no longer know what these questions even pertain to. They are meaningless sounds to me now with no more gravitas than the bark of a dog. I have only the following to say and I say it not in my defense for I know that is a laughable word in this court. I say for the sole reason that I must. It is on my mind and I fear the end of my career is near if not my very existence.

I have seen people who attended one meeting out of curiosity have their entire lives destroyed by the subsequent investigation. I have seen people who, solely by being accused by this committee, have seen their occupations disintegrate.

To be dramatic, you are angels with flaming swords, blind to the destruction you’re causing but unwilling to stop because you’re convinced your actions are just. If I was scared, you’d see it as guilt. But I am calm, and you see that as a suspicious flippancy. There is no victory for the accused in this room.

The sense of insolence you perceive in me is merely a sense of resignation. My life was doomed the moment your men knocked on my door. I have been brought before the all-powerful and my life is over. People who can’t even pronounce xenosympathizer have been dragged before you in tears after running from arresting officers out of simple animal fear that you mistake for culpability. Their attempt to flee and subsequent weeping are no more an admission of hubris than this table is carved from a block of cheese. You take far too much joy in your mission, your unattainable goal. No society can be spotless.

A human ship landed on that planet, yes. The ship was destroyed and the astronauts were murdered, yes. I don’t know if the pilot and crew were perceived as a threat or food but I do know that it was a mistake to land without further research. The fault is ours.

The aliens were not communists. They were insects. They had no concept of money or values. They ate and built. It was not a political philosophy. It was nature functioning at a base level. They drew no line in the sand and they did not belong to a side. They didn’t have the emotions with which to hate us. This is all our doing. We are guilty of genocide. Our act was not retaliation. Our act was a first strike.

And now, out of guilt and a bloodlust that was only fueled by their deaths, we are turning on ourselves. This, the aftermath of our shameful first contact, will be looked back on with even more horror than our mass slaughter of that race. No matter how many ‘sympathizers’ you root out and destroy, you will always be lady Macbeth and your hands will never wash clean of blood, both red and green.

I did nothing when they were destroyed as I have done nothing since. I have attended no meetings. If I am guilty of anything, it is of not raising my voice when it may have mattered. I await this mockery of human dignity to run its course and I am humiliated to be alive during this chapter of earth’s existence.

–Last recorded words of disgraced xenobiologist Jance Hayward, 63rd traitor executed in the state of Arizona during the post-Xenocleanse Purge of 2061


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