Author : Sad Sama

“You’re serious?” The Rear Admiral of the Arizona Fleet questions his superior for the first time in twelve years.

First Resident Menos stands with hands clasped behind his back, morosely watching the field of stars passing the windows of the command deck of the fleet’s capital cruiser. “Of course I am.” His voice was like reverberating lead.

“But the planet is barren. Over 90% of the population has been wiped out by internal biological warfare. It’s defenseless. It poses no threat to us or to anyone.”

“Precisely.” Out of the corner of his eyelids Menos stares at his Rear Admiral. “I need to send a message to the Senate. Something to inspire enough fear so that they’ll finally start taking my threats seriously.”

“With all due respect sir, the prototype Core Disseminator on this ship can disrupt the core of any world regardless of their defenses. Wouldn’t the destruction of a full militarily defended planet send a stronger message? A tactical strike that tells them their defenses are useless perhaps?”

“Perhaps…” Slowly turning on one foot “But if the target is properly defended, there will be many whom will speculate that I destroyed the planet as the result of escalating combat measures during a fight. If I destroy a proper military target there will still be many that think I play by the rules. A man who plays by the rules is a man that the Galactic Senate thinks they can reason or negotiate with.”

Menos looks sideways at the field of stars. “My demands are non-negotiable.”

Returning his gaze to the unnerved Admiral he continues, “However, if I destroy a planet of weak, abused, and utterly defenseless civilians…” The edges of his lips tilt upwards ever so slightly, “There won’t be anyone that doubts me as to how far I’m willing to go. I’ll let my other battles support my courage, but this one… yes, this one will support my threats.”

Attempting to retain composure the Admiral raises his last question, “But what if the fear you create tempers the enemy nations to band together and redouble their efforts against you.”

First Resident Menos returns to his stance overlooking the command deck, “Fear only catalyzes so much. Not enough and the enemy grows stronger. With enough though, everyone has their breaking point. Everyone.”

Five minutes later roughly one billion screams of homeless and starving refugees echo up through the skies of the planet below. Quickly they are silenced as the planet crumbles in upon itself, becoming a sphere of magma. Menos inwardly calculates the number of Senate Seats that would wet themselves when they find out.

This is your future: Submit your stories to 365 Tomorrows
365 Tomorrows Merchandise: The 365 Tomorrows Store
The 365 Tomorrows Free Podcast: Voices of Tomorrow