Author: Rick Tobin

Keet rested on the alien ship’s bridge, its green, leaf-like skin absorbing the nourishing rays of a distant Earth sun. It was a new recruit explorer among the plant-based race known as the Jotso Witan, traveling in massive, organic vessels orbiting a blue planet. Next to Keet was its superior, Rardonro, a seasoned diplomat, with tendrils from its foliage-like appendages rustling softly.

Keet voiced its confusion. “Rardonro, why waste time with these species? Why force them to stop their wars? It seems a futile endeavor.”

Rardonro turned its multi-faceted eyes to Keet. “This is your first voyage. It is our way, young one. We have warned them to cease all acts of violence. They had one planet rotation to comply, or face utter annihilation.”

“Do we ever complete such threats?” Keet asked, as its voice tinged with doubt.

Rardonro shifted its tendrils in a contemplative manner. “No, Keet. We do not. We expect our powers will force compliance. You see, violent races are rooted in fear of death, so they value their existence as sacred.”

As Keet mulled over Rardonro’s words, the ship’s viewports displayed their demonstration. Enormous ships, like colossal leaves of an otherworldly tree, created a massive tsunami in the South Atlantic. Within one minute, waves inundated an uninhabited island, leaving only swirling waters where the land had been.

Rardonro pointed to the screen, the images of the destruction reflecting in its compound eyes. “See, Keet? We make a point, and we do it without directly harming any innocent lives. That is the Jotso Witan way.”

Days later, they repeated the exercise on an uninhabited Aleutian Island, leaving no doubt that their threat was real and devastating. Still, humans did not comply.

Keet couldn’t help but ask, “What if they don’t stop their violence? What if they resist us?”

Rardonro’s tendrils rustled with amusement. “Oh, they will bend, eventually. You see, our experience proves that violent races build up so much enmity, so much distrust, that they will do anything to survive another day to find revenge. Once they concede to our demands, we gather away all their weapons. We leave them defenseless. Later we return, quietly, behind the scenes, offering them the same killing tools they had surrendered a century or more before. Our price is simple – non-interference with our operations. We can then peacefully take the minerals and water we need for our colonies while they continue their ridiculous cycle of self-destruction.”

Keet’s eyes blinked with understanding. “So, we manipulate their cycle of violence repeatedly to ensure they remain under our control?”

Rardonro nodded, its tendrils swaying in agreement. “Exactly. That way, we can strip their planet of its resources without any danger of attack. These species, like others, will always remain embroiled in conflicts, as we continue to profit from their desperation.”

Keet was astounded by the brilliance of the plan. As the peace agreement arrived, and the humans below began obeying the Jotso Witan’s ultimatum, Keet admired the subtlety of it all.

Rardonro turned to Keet, the soft rustling of its tendrils reassuring. “You see, Keet, the universe is a complex place. It’s not always about brute force. Sometimes, the most effective way to maintain control is through manipulation and subtlety. We’re not conquerors; we’re manipulators of the highest order.”

With their mission to initiate a new cycle on Earth complete, the Jotso Witan fleet departed for another world, ready to deliver their ominous directives and set in motion another cycle of control that had served them well on war zone planets for eons throughout the galaxy.