art by Seth Alan Bareiss
Trial of the God Star
by Ian Rose
Ship's record of the Assembly colonial warship Eraedia, timestamp 2-18-5-8023. Recovered after the Slaughter of Pramis, 8023-25. Begin transcript:
1. The Judge
In the name of the Galactic Assembly, I now open the case of Pramis Colony vs. Unidentified Entity. I will remind all attendants, media representatives, and court officials that however unusual this case may be, however foreign the defendant, this is still a society of laws and a court of order. I will have the former upheld and the latter maintained.
I also remind the attendants that a silent court, without noise or distraction, is the right of every defendant tried under Assembly law. Any outbursts like the ones we have seen in preliminary hearings will be dealt with immediately and harshly.
We have before us a case of attempted genocide, a charge that no court such as ours has ever heard before. We will hear strange things today, and it is up to our gathered Assembly to decide which are true, which are false, and which are ambiguous beyond our ability to interpret. Once the prosecution has spoken and the defendant has been able to speak in its own defense, we will make our decision by simple majority, with myself as judge stepping in only to maintain order and, if necessary, to cast a tie-breaking vote. With a gathering of such prominent and honorable attendants, I have no doubt that the correct decision will be reached, and that my vote will not be necessary.
Record becomes unintelligible for sixteen seconds, due to damage from gluon pulse weapon. Resume transcript.
2. The Prosecutor
Gentlemen, ladies, and otherwise gendered attendants of the Assembly, we are brought together today to complete an incredible act of heroism. Field Admiral Agath Meers, commander of this vessel, is a hero above all precedent in our history. Last year, during a peaceful scientific mission, Admiral Meers and her crew discovered the being you have come to know as the God Star.
That is the one and only time we will use this false name to describe the defendant. It is no god that awaits our judgment. The defendant is an animal, like you or I, capable of the same jealousy, wrath, and inhumanity as any of us in our darkest moments. The difference between us is simply scale. This defendant is not on trial for murder, or mass murder. By attacking the Pramis Colony's sun, the beast attempted no less than genocide, and if not for Admiral Meers and the crew of Eraedia, millions would have surely perished.
Millions of lives. That is the scope of your task today, to decide the punishment for attempting to destroy an entire world and its people.