Court of the Sentient Beings of the Galaxy

Galactic War Crimes Tribunal

Antares

2575 AD

Finally the former Emperor, Zdalin Tihler of the disgraced ZaniZovet Federation, stood before the Galactic War Crimes Tribunal. It was like having Hitler himself on trial at Nuremburg but on a much greater scale.

The principal charge was giving the direct orders to force five suns to go nova that led to the destruction of the entire population of five star systems. The other charges were too many to catalogue here. Among them were the de-terra-forming of a number of inhabited worlds, while they were still inhabited.

The proceedings followed the same established procedures as earlier hearings where the lesser criminals, the subordinates who carried out the orders, had already been found guilty, sentenced and vaporized.

The Tribunal was composed of one representative of each of the Galaxies sentient races above a certain level of attainment. Through the wonders of advanced Brell technology each individual member of the Tribunal was linked telepathically to available and interested members of their race. The vote taken by the individual members would reflect the consensus vote of their race.

Earth had only recently been invited to nominate a representative for the Tribunal.

"What a thoroughly marvelous system," thought the Earth representative "no overpriced smart-assed lawyers to get the slime bag off or his sentence reduced, wonderful." Not realizing that the telepathic link had already been established the earth person was almost overwhelmed by a range of telepathic responses that came back to him. All of them in full agreement, except, of course, certain members of the legal profession.

The Brell computer addressed the Tribunal reminding its members of the fundamental yet wonderfully simple principles of Galactic Law that any decision must be based upon. All were well versed in these basic, yet quite brilliant principles that somehow accommodated the vast array of different cultures and value systems of the Tribunal members.

The computer then opened a portal in time so that all key events could be witnessed exactly as they had transpired.

There were no prosecution or defence lawyers.

The final vote was 99,998 guilty, 1 innocent, and one Tribunal member undecided. Only a 50% vote was necessary to establish the guilty verdict.

The severity of the sentence was also determined by the Tribunal vote within established parameters. Sentencing options, not necessarily in order of perceived severity, included: (i) prolonged torture on known weaknesses then vaporization, (ii) instant vaporization, (iii) a life time of scientifically contrived pain and suffering exploring all possible weaknesses , (iv) other.

The Tribunal voting went to normal patterns that is to say: 5% option (i), 90% option (ii), 4.9% option (iii) and 0.1% option (iv). The 0.1% included some quite exquisite and exotic suggestions of the more remote races that cannot be printed here.

There exists no higher court of appeal from the judgment of the Galactic War Crimes Tribunal, which judgment is carried out with immediate effect.

Thus former ZaniZovet Emperor Zdalin Tihler had no opportunity for a last meal, or a cigarette, or meeting with a loved one, or other such request as he was vaporized the very instant after the Tribunal's judgment was delivered.

Total time elapsed time for the Tribunal's deliberations was about one solar day. Mainly taken up by the viewing of past events.

An improvement on Nuremburg? You be the judge.

End