The case of The Galaxy v. ‘Earth’ was the court case of the millennium. Specialists had been summoned to give testimony regarding the population of the third world orbiting a yellow star located somewhere within one of the spiral arms of what the natives have dubbed, the “Milky Way Galaxy.”
All that Roger Fitzgerald knew, was that he wanted no part in the proceedings and only wanted to go home. Yet here he was, sitting at the Defense table, having been elected as the Representative for the People of P82172. Or as he knew it, planet Earth.
And he was not even a lawyer!
“All rise for the Honorable Judge Flurb!” the bailiff bellowed. Roger could not help but note that the deep-voiced creature very much resembled a bullfrog. Only it was wearing a gray officers’ uniform and had a silver badge pinned to the left lapel.
The judge, on the other hand, was a lanky sort of creature. Its fingers were webbed, and it had fat lips like a fish. It wore goggles over the eyes, and a sort of respirator covered a pair of gill slits – land was not it’s native habitat.“Be seated,” came the command, soft like running water.
The spokesman for the Prosecution was a creature which resembled an over-grown, humanoid turkey. Roger had been distressed for several minutes after their first meeting. Of course, his experience when the court officers came to collect him for the trial had done nothing to relieve Roger’s anxieties.
They had all been gray, squat little creatures with rather large eyes. And they did not speak in a manner that Roger was accustomed too, so he could only watch in terror as they strapped his paralyzed body into the travel capsule for the trip out of the solar system.
“Your Honor,” the Prosecution said, beginning with his opening arguments. He spoke in what Roger could only describe as a Southern-type drawl. “Our purpose for being before you in this courtroom today is to decide the fate of the humanoids residing on world P81272.”
“The court is already aware of your reason for being here, counselor,” Flurb sighed. “Now, kindly get on with it.”
“Yes, of course, Your Honor,” the humanoid turkey stammered, quickly glancing over his notes and flicking through the pages. Roger had learned first hand that he was quite the talker, and fancied himself to be a gifted speaker. “The Prosecution calls Doctor Razgorp to the stand.”
Razgorp was a hirsute creature, tall and humanoid with a lanky stride. The Talk Shows had made frequent mention of his genetic research projects. Eerily enough, he looked just like the depictions of Big Foot.
“Doctor Razgorp, please explain to the court your relationship to the humanoid creatures of P81272,” the turkey gobbled.
“I created them,” came the simple response in a gruff voice.
“You created them?” the Prosecutor repeated. “Could you explain that, please.”
Razgorp shifted his weight in the chair, smiling a toothy grin. “We found the original genetic material on a long-dead world. Even the architecture itself had crumbled away into dust, but we found a parasitic organism trapped inside some resin while taking coring samples. Naturally, we were curious as to what these creatures had looked like.”
“So you cloned this genetic material and transplanted it onto P81272?”
Razgorp chuckled. “No, first we had to sequence it. Partially digested gene tissues are too… fractured to render an accurate model. After that, came the process of locating applicable donor-gene’s to fill in the missing pieces.”
“And those ‘donor-genes’ belonged to?”
“The ancestors of the Primate Species on P812742.”
Gasps and harsh whispers filled the courtroom. Flurb promptly began pressing a buzzer that simultaneous dimmed the lights. “Do not make me clear this court!”
“So, you are admitting to the court that you tampered with the natural development of a primal world?”
Razgorp guffawed. “That world was already tampered with, what with that asteroid trajectory having been intentionally mapped incorrectly.”
Flurb pressed the buzzer again. “Last warning.”
“Explain what you did next.”
“Well, once we had a complete genetic print, the only thing we could do was implant it into the primates themselves, and see what happened.”
“‘And see what happened’?” the Prosecutor asked incredulously.
“Yes, watch their development, see how they moved and thought. Blockades had been established outside of the system to maintain their isolation. There were still some joyriding adolescents and the Primal Rights Activists who made it past security, but they didn’t interfere with the project too much.”
“Oh, but it did, Doctor Razgorp. You see, your ‘subjects’ got into their little heads that they could not possibly be alone, and began reaching out to the rest of the galaxy.” He help up with one feathered hand a golden disc. “I present exhibit A. A data disc from one of the first extra-system probes to leave P81272.”
Roger recognized the disc from his history lessons. One of two, it had been packed aboard a pair of space probes launched to explore the outer planets of the Solar System. It contained a sample of the sights and sounds of Earth, and was intended to be used as a greeting. A means to bridge the gap, as it were, should a species capable of interstellar space travel encounter the disc and its vessel.
“This disc is an invitation to P82172, a protected planet inhabited by illegally modified mutations.”
Razgorp shrugged. “They only do what comes naturally.”
“Well, ‘what comes naturally’ to them, is destruction. Habitat of countless native species is now irrecoverable due to pollution alone. They won’t even stop killing each other, yet they desire contact with the rest of the galaxy. They are a threat to Civilization and must be destroyed!”
At that, the court erupted into turmoil. Flurb pressed his crowd control button, but to no avail. “Clear this court!” he burbled angrily, and Bullfrog jumped into compliance.
Roger could only sit back in his chairs and rub his temples, asking over and over: “Why me?”