Author : Bob Newbell
“Ministers,” said the large aquatic alien that looked like a hybrid of a dolphin and a spider, “this parliament must vote to approve the funds requested by the Director of the War Department to eradicate once and for all the blight of humanity from this world!”
There were whistles and clicks of agreement, and a few of dissent.
“Chairman?” chirped another of the creatures, thinner and older looking than the one who had just finished its speech.
“The Chair recognizes the Minister from Lake Ontario.”
The alien swam to the center of the Assembly Building that was hewn from the rock of the Osbourn Seamount in the South Pacific Ocean. “Chairman, fellow ministers. Like all of you, I mourn the loss of the 243 lives in the Great Salt Lake bombing. While nothing can justify this atrocity, it can be and must be understood.”
(Snorts of disapproval across the assembly)
“Chairman,” continued the alien, “in the 300 years since we colonized this world, the human population has contracted from nearly eight billion to fewer than 500 million. The recent attack must be considered in the context of the Human Holocaust for which we are responsible.”
(Chirp of “human lover” from one corner of the assembly)
“We could have come to this planet in peace and friendship. But we instead came as conquerors and invaders. Why are we surprised when the lawful and legitimate citizens of this world retaliate against a hostile foreign power and an occupying force?”
“Chairman,” said another of the assembled aliens, “we are here to discuss national security, not to listen to a terrorist sympathizer spew his pro-human propagan–”
The Chairman clicked loudly. “The Minister from the Indian Ocean is out of order. The Minister from Lake Ontario has the floor.”
“Ministers,” continued the old aquatic, “even as we bury our dead brothers and sisters, we must insure their deaths had meaning. Let their passing mark a new era of peace between land and sea.”
(Whistle of “No compromise with savages!”. Another clicked call to order from the Chairman)
“Because they walk on dry ground and breathe air, we call them savages. Ministers, we face a grave decision. Not one of us here today has ever known any home but this one. We are as much Earthlings as any human. I have a vision of a future in which aquatics and terrestrials live and work in harmony. I can see a day dawning when the weapons of war will be reshaped into the instruments of peaceful industry. Let history be a witness that today we choose reconciliation, not genocide!”
(Scattered clicks of disapproval, fewer but louder whistles of agreement)
The vote was taken and a majority chose to fund the bioweapon that would exterminate the human race. One of the old pacifist’s supporters swam up to him.
“It was a good speech. We did all we could,” said the younger alien.
The older politician’s mandibles scissored back and forth rhythmically, their equivalent of a smile. “Not quite all,” he said. “We have a couple of secret supporters in the military. More specifically, in the biowarfare department.”
“Do you think they can prevent the weapon from being deployed?”
“Why would we want to do that? A weapon that can be calibrated to target one particular species can be recalibrated to target another.” He swam closer to his compatriot. “It can even be calibrated to target specific individuals of a given species. And if we alone happen to have the only treatment…” He let the sentence trail off.
“There are many paths to enlightenment,” he chirped happily.
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