Darrian had never seen them side by side, but it suddenly struck him how much smaller in stature Juag-e was in comparison to the High Maister. He knew the little Juag-e was known for being a bit shorter than his compatriots, but he had to wonder if the Armada leader that he stood side-by-side with was not also larger than normal for his species.
"You think I'm crazy?" yelled back Guor-a with just as much ferocity. "You're the ones that are out of touch with reality! All it seems that you ever do is talk and talk!"
"Yes! We've been hosting a council to review information! Our purpose isn't to declare war on defenseless species!"
"They're defenseless now, but what about in a rotation? Damnit! What about in half a rotation? These creatures move at such a rapid pace they might achieve interstellar travel in thirty cycles! Beating down our doors in thirty two!"
"So you admit you'd be slaughtering a defenseless civilization." snapped A'alan't 32 with more emotion than Darrian had ever heard from the Bivvie.
"Is it considered slaughter to vaccinate a victim from a disease? To give them medicine and kill an infection before they are cowering with illness?"
"The humans are not an infection!" screamed the old judge.
"Then why quarantine them if they aren't little more than a plague waiting to happen?"
Murmurs whispered throughout the Consortium at that. A large number of the ambassadors had remained silent through the screaming contest. When the emergency council had been called, no one knew what to expect given the last time war was declared by anyone was many rotations ago. Now, sitting before this fervent anger, few even knew how to react.
"To observe and collect data. To avoid outward influences." retorted the old judge.
"And to keep us safe in case they proved themselves dangerous." growled Guor-a
"Guor-a." said Illiquina softly.
His scaled visage glowered back at her.
"The humans are a terrifying race. Hell, the fact that they can breathe poison is unsettling enough. Yet, they are exceptionally young. We've already had observations regarding a majority population living in support of many ideals the Consortium holds dear."
"We've seen many who are in support of peace and prosperity and ending the needless violence their species has suffered." she finished with a joyous lit to her voice that seemed to defy Guor-a's anger.
"Would these be the same creatures that declare war on each other regularly? Would this be the same species whose only reason for trying to escape their atmosphere is in the name of competition?"
"It's the same species who is learning to overcome their primordial instincts and move on to something greater. To look for something greater." said Cherryl with a level of confidence in her normally shaky tone that left several ambassadors staring with surprise.
"Don't talk to me about what humans are or aren't like." growled Guor-a, pointing a clawed finger at no one in particular. "I've learned all I need to know."
"And what does that mean?" inquired the old judge.
"After Juag-e came to me some cycles ago, I decided to do some digging. I found out that a few of my fellow compatriots had already known about this monstrous little species."
Any side discussion there was within the Consortium fell dead silent.
"What are you saying?" asked Darrian in utter shock.
"We've already known about humans for some time now. In fact, it would seem that our own survey was being conducted. We even have Tulguck infiltrators in a number of higher governmental offices learning all about..."
"YOU TREASONOUS PIECE OF SHIT!" screamed the old judge, pounding the table with an echoing boom.
Darrian stared in disbelief at the old judge. The old robot had been around for more rotations than Darrian would ever know. He'd been programmed with the ability to learn, but, at the end of the day, he had a base programming. Where or when the old judge would have learned such a fervent and emotional reaction was beyond him.
"YOU MOCK US WITH THIS INFORMATION?!" continued the old judge. "HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN EVERY FACET OF THE CONSORTIUM'S AGREEMENTS?!"
"And what would you be referring to?" asked Guor-a with a look of contempt.
"Your government withheld information about a possible spacebound species! Not only that, but you're bragging that you've INFILTRATED their government?! Do you know that kind of damage you could be doing."
"Look robot..." responded Guor-a in a surprising docile tone. "I'm not the one who made those calls. Hell, I'm not even sure I could find out who. But at the end of the day, we're talking about a plague. A pestilence. A virus that needs to be wiped from the galaxy before it can spread."
"That's not your call to make! You're going against everything your species agreed to...everything this Consortium stands for!"
"Then stop me."
The old judge fell silent. No one on the Consortium maintained an Armada or Fleet anymore. No one but the two youngest species: the Tulgucks and the Gorderians. At best, each species kept a small defense force, but nothing that could even hope to stand up to Guor-a.
What was worse: given the sheer amount of how often Jin'thun and Juag-e agreed on matters of state, Darrian didn't doubt the Gorderians would soon be joining the Tulgucks to cull the humans.
And there was nothing they could do.
"That's what I thought." continued Guor-a with a sneer when no one said anything.
"If you do this, you'll be making an enemy of us, Guor-a." said the old judge in a low tone. "The Tulgucks will be stripped of their trade rights and positions within the Consortium."
"Maybe so." said Juag-e. "Maybe it means our species has a falling out for now. But in a few rotations, after you've had time to think about how nice it is not being murdered in your beds, I'm sure we'll be welcomed back. With sanctions, of course...or maybe as heroes."
"Time will tell." finished Juag-e with a small smile that suggested he really did believe they were in the right.
"Don't do this." Darrian suddenly pleaded.
The humans terrified him, yet the thought of simply wiping them from existence...murdering billions of people before they could respond. He couldn't stomach the idea.
"It's already done." said Juag-e.
"Our Armada is mobilizing as we speak." added Guor-a. "Soon enough we will remove this threat and you all can sleep peacefully once again."
The image snapped out and the reptilian visages of the Tulgucks disappeared. No one said anything. No one knew what to say. Everyone just seemed to stare at the blank space where the hologram had been.
"They're all going to die..." whispered Ugul woefully.
Darrian's gaze wandered the room to Ugul and then to the other ambassadors. All of them looked devastated. There was nothing that could do. The Tulgucks were going to Earth and would probably be joined by...
Everyone seemed to have the same thought. As if on cue, dozens of eyes were staring intently at Jin'thun and the other Gorderians representatives.
"Well shit..." growled Jin'thun with a look of annoyance.
Start at the Beginning
(Hello Lovelies! I'm so sorry that this took longer than planned to come out, but I had a few personal things that hit me hard and, to be candid, I've found I'd much rather focus my efforts on Xenophobia right now then simply forcing myself to right random tidbits. I should have a more stable schedule now, so I'm sorry again for missing a couple days! Keep an eye out to find out what the Gorderians are going to do.)