Caninon, Canin System

603 A.F. (After Foundation)

Silence permeated the Grand Council Chamber as President Uxonkla ascended to the dais. Thousands of delegates from the hundreds of systems in the Interracial Galactic Alliance waited anxiously to know why they had been summoned.

"Delegates, welcome." Uxonkla began. "I have called an emergency session of this council in response to a grave threat not only to the IGU, but to every living creature in existence!"

Murmurs of surprise filled the room. Uxonkla held up his hands for silence.

"I am not exaggerating. You are, of course, familiar with the resort planet Ambano." Gestures of affirmation came from the delegates. "The resorts are all located on the island in the southern hemisphere, and there is an uninhabited landmass in the northern hemisphere."

"Recently," continued the president, "an expedition was sent to this landmass to survey it for possible colonization. Three days later, they began to feel strange aches throughout their bodies. Within two days of the onset of the symptoms, all of the surveyors had died. Their whole bodies simply dissolved."

Murmurs of shock and confusion ran through the chamber. "Why is this a matter for an emergency meeting of the IGU Grand Council?" demanded one delegate. Shouts of support came from all over the room.

Uxonkla sounded the air horn. The loud blast of sound silenced the hall.

"If you would allow me to explain." The president said sternly. "A team of biohazard analysts went to examine the site. They took samples of everything imaginable, and submitted these samples to the Caninon Laboratories. I now give you Dr. Vild Alkhagmrn, chief researcher on the team that analyzed the samples."

"My results were terrifying." The scientist's gravelly tones filled the chamber. "I analyzed air, water, dirt, everything. It was all normal, with small amount of unknown substance. I analyzed this and identified it. It was virus, one I never had heard of. It worked as normal virus, but with deadly twist. In addition to having the cell it was in make thousands and thousands of copies of virus, it reads the DNA of the body cell. It uses this information to make protein around virus DNA that patient's body treats as part of it. This prevents us from eliminating it without killing the patient. And it works on variety of species." Dr. Alkhagmrn sat, and President Uxonkla began to speak."Delegates, you have heard the situation. If not stopped, this virus could exterminate all life, everywhere. We are now faced with two choices: Whether to blockade Ambano...

or to destroy it."

Pandemonium broke loose. Delegates were shouting at Uxonkla, at Dr. Alkhagmrn, at each other, and at no one in particular. It took ten blasts of the air horn to restore order.

"Delegates!" rebuked the president. "There has never been as much chaos in this room before!" Glancing at the speakerboard, he saw that well over a hundred delegates wished to speak. "Now, delegates, take fifteen minutes and reseat yourselves according to where you stand on the issue."

After a quarter of an hour, Uxonkla reconvened the Council. "I yield the floor to Delegate Furt of Anda."

"My friends," began the delegate. "We must destroy Ambano! Letting this menace sit merely blockaded is like keeping an ordun beast in your backyard. You feel you are safe because the door is locked, only to be eaten after it tunnels in under the wall." He turned to glare at the opposition. "No one is immune to bribery. A terrorist organization could buy a sample of this virus and use it to destroy whole planets! I will not let such a risk remain."

The next speaker was Delegate Chudril of Thzaa. "It seems to me that Delegate Furt is overreacting." Her melodious voice drew the attention of all assembled. "He says no one is immune to bribery. No living being, I grant you, but what about robots? They have no need for anything. The blockading fleet should be manned by robots. It would be expensive, but much less so than destroying the flourishing ecosystem of the southern islands! These islands are the sole source for over a dozen valuable raw materials, including enda wood and surak wool. Destroying these precious resources would devastate the economy!"

The debate raged for hours, without coming to a decision. In the end, Delegate Utsharg called for a public referendum. The weary Council unanimously agreed.

)-(

"Mr. President! The referendum results are in!" Uxonkla's eager secretary waited anxiously as the president decoded and read the handcomp. "Well?" he demanded. "What's the verdict?"

Uxonkla sank into his chair. "The people have spoken." he sighed. "Ambano will be destroyed."

)-(

IGU Battlecrusier Insano, Ambano system

The tech crew had returned to the Insano. The engines they had attached to a massive 32 kilometer long asteroid roared to life. They drove the asteroid towards the doomed planet, smashing billions of tons of rock into it at nearly 5000 kph. Ambano shuddered, then slowly, slowly began to fall into the sun.

"Mission accomplished." reported the Insano's captain. "Let's head home."