Author : Samuel Stapleton

Classified Hearing AF:145-34a C3
Interviewer: Charles Witcomb

“If you could go back commander, would you alter your decision?”


“I’m going to note for the record that you didn’t even seem to reconsider…”

“I don’t need too. If I hadn’t swallowed that planet, they would’ve swallowed us.”

“How can you be sure?”

“Did you study much history in schoolnet?”

“As much as is normal I suppose, why?”

“How much do you remember about the Cold War between America and the USSR?”

“I recall that it wasn’t much of a war.”

“Correct. Because of MAD.”

“Mutually assured destruction?”

“Precisely. Both sides had a nuclear stockpile capable of taking out the other in a retaliatory attack. Therefore launching an offensive would inevitably lead to self destruction.”

“I don’t understand what this has to do with this hearing commander?”

“I’ve been court martialed based on my decision to wipe out an entire alien species. I’m explaining my reasoning behind.”

I motioned for him to continue.

“If we continue my historical comparison we must admit that nuclear arms and the power they represent is now an infinitesimal speck in terms of the military capability that humans and other alien species hold. Worm-black-holes mean that MAD is no longer an option. If you’re attacked, there is no chance to retaliate. Destruction is complete and instantaneous and your species is ended. If humanity is to survive the inevitable encounters we are going to have in the future, we must change our military strategy to match these facts. We must seek in order to find before we ourselves are found, and we must attack immediately with the intention to fully obliterate all life besides ourselves. We no longer have the luxury of holding onto hope of any kind. One wrong decision and humanity ends. Personally I think it would be a tragedy for our species to have survived millions of years on Earth only to be wiped out by our own kindness once we began reaching into the cosmos.”

“And this is how you justify specicide?”

“I didn’t say it was justified, I only said it was necessary….”

I had no words for the monster who sat across from me. Or the monster within myself that was quietly agreeing with him.

“Ironic, isn’t?”

“What’s that?”

“That we spent our few last centuries on Earth desperately trying to preserve the biosphere and save the species we had been wiping out. And now that we have left our solar system we will be desperately trying to wipe out every species we come across to preserve the galaxies for ourselves.”

“No one said we were adopting your military strategy commander.”

“No one has to. That’s the great thing about humanity corporal, we are so very good at looking the other way when we need too. And since we can’t look back, we’ll look forward to all that…empty space.”