Author : Morrow Brady

The Norwellians were the eighth interstellar race to join the Galactic Cabinet. A millennia of experience had refined their intelligence and powers of diplomacy orders above all others.

And so, an unprecedented era of peace reigned across the stars.

The Cabinet’s reliance on the Norwellians was emphasised during the Phase – a short period every year, when the Norwellians would take leave from all duties and return to their home planet. The Phase was explained as a time for reflection, where they must not be disturbed.

Immediately following their departure for the Phase, an attack commenced on the Seethe home planet of Jerrin by a race called the Lins. It was timed perfectly to maximise the duration of damage through the Phase.

The Cabinet failed to resolve the conflict and watched in despair as Jerrin’s lush green surface became bruised and torn. In desperation, they reached out and demanded the Norwellians perform their Cabinet duties. The reaction was unexpected.

Like dragonflies over a pond, Lin battleships hovered over Jerrin. Warping beside each battleship appeared Kray stars, devices long outlawed by the Cabinet. Instantly each battleship folded inward, forming a white hot sphere. Each sphere then accelerated away from Jerrin towards the Lin home planet of Hy. Nearing the speed of light, they impacted, pushing the planet’s core to its surface. Lin became unmade.

Across galactic space, a silent assassin pulse decelled the biology of every remaining Lin.

The esteem held for the Norwellian’s, gave weight to their response. However, this was not enough to silence the roar of the public voice that demanded reasoning.

The Norwellians remained silent.

Patiently, the Cabinet waited for Phase End. Too fearful to disturb the Norwellians again. Too self conscious of their own inability to understand.

At the end of the Phase, a cruiser launched from the Norwellian home world and arrived carrying a sole passenger, the Norwellian Chief.

Through live galactic cast, the Norwellian Chief stood as expressionless as the stone plinth below him.

“Cabinet members and universal life. We are a proud and peaceful race. Our position within the Cabinet has given us a stage to share our knowledge of harmony and good will. For this we are grateful”

The chief slowly bowed his head and an expression of discomfort appeared across his long face.

“As a Norwellian, we, like all races, have genetic frailties. Biological coding so intertwined with the essence of our making that it cannot be separated. Our pride shrouded this weakness and now you hear the truth”

The chief rested a shaking hand on the stone rostrum.

“The time known to you as the Phase, is not a time for reflection. It is a time where we mentally regress to a primitive and instinctual state. A being so adverse to what you have come to know, that we must lock ourselves away for fear of its escape”

He looked upward and gazed momentarily, drawing in a deep breath.

“During our last Phase, you sought help from a different Norwellian. A dark Norwellian, bound in fear and hatred with no means of expressing that terror. Our action against the Lin was a violent release. A natural expulsion of hate, expressed using weaponry we have tried to forget. In reprising our Cabinet role, we have determined the only solution for this unforgivable act is this”

The Chief pulls his hand from his robe and discharges a hand weapon into his mouth, collapsing lifeless on the podium.

The audience screamed in silence. The tension interrupted moments later by a projected image of the Norwellian home planet exploding.

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