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by WaylandCybersmith

Space seemed to ripple and boil as the silver-blue Lá an Dreoilín appeared, as if rising to the top of a foaming broth.


Legion Commander Milder looked at the planet below. It was beautiful, but that just made him feel sicker than he had been over the past two weeks. He turned to his second-in-command. “Report, Primus Moulder.”


It will take time to analyse. That planet seems almost to have too much life. There are, literally, billions of species.”


We are interested in just one. Is it there?”


I can’t tell you yet. I should have the answer in a few minutes.”


The bridge door opened, and a magnificently robed figure stood at the entrance, gesturing for Milder to join him. Milder hated politicians, but Ambassador Festel had overall authority over the mission.


The door closed behind them, cutting them off from the bridge. “Is this it, Legion Commander?”


Too early to say, Ambassador. We have only just arrived.”


Just so, Just so. I needn’t remind you of the importance of this mission, need I?”


This is the twentieth quest. All the others failed.”


And time is running out. You have half a day to complete your assignment. If this mission fails, Westel may be doomed beyond rescue.”


May I speak, frankly, Ambassador?”


Your views are known, Legion Commander, which is why you were chosen. You believe this quest is ill-advised, despite the recommendations of the most learned of our world.”


The bridge door slid open. It was Lancer Fose, the weapons' officer. “It’s here, Legion Commander. We’ve found it.”


Milder and the others gathered at the viewport, watching the pearl of a planet spin in front of them. Milder threw up.


You have such a weak stomach for a warrior, Legion Commander.”


This is not war, Ambassador. This is genocide. Even that word loses all meaning.”


Nevertheless, you have your orders.”


Milder gave the signal, and Fose’s fingers danced on the control panel. The spaceship shook slightly, and a cluster of missiles sped silently towards the planet, their fiery wake looking like a violet and orange flower.


The missiles took positions at six points around the planet. Then their engines fired again, sending them deep into the planet’s surface. After a few moments, the planet exploded. Rocks the size of moons hurtled through space. Milder, silently, hoped one would destroy his spaceship. To him, that would be some kind of justice.


When there was nothing more to see, the Ambassador turned and smiled at Milder. “See? That was simple, wasn’t it? Now our planet will prosper.”


I still say it is all superstitions. A whole planet has been destroyed. All because your wise men said we should hunt the wren.”

© WaylandCybersmith 2011


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