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The Case for Lesser Beings

The council decides the fate of a troublesome orb

By Vivian R McInernyPublished 8 months ago Updated 8 months ago 7 min read
The Case for Lesser Beings
Photo by Zachary Spears on Unsplash

Nobody can hear a scream in the vacuum of space, or so they say.

The “they” in this case being Earthlings. Due to their primitive brain structure, Earthlings cannot hear well and arrogantly presume none of us can. Give them a thousand years or more of evolutionary development and their ear apparatus will likely improve.

“But poor hearing is not really the problem,” said Akron1, interrupting the Omniscient One. “The real issue of concern is the Earthlings themselves.”

A low rumble of disapproval filled the transparent dome council room. Protocol required all council members to humbly await acknowledgment from the Omniscient One before speaking, but this Akron1 rep was new. It wasn’t that he didn’t know the rules. He chose to ignore them. Young and cocky and impatient with formalities, he went on.

“Frankly, my constituents have just about had it with Earthlings,” said Akron1. A flaming meteor shot past behind him which seemed almost prophetic. “They have tired of Earthlings.”

“What do you mean?” asked the representative from Jupiter, the host planet of the gathering. “What are you implying?”

“I imply nothing,” said Akron1. “I state quite clearly, here and now, the time has come to set Earth free thereby setting free the rest of us from the debacle that is the Earthlings.”

The earlier grumbling erupted into a full blown shouting match. The transparent room with its view of infinite space was designed to humble members but its bubble shape tended to amplify angry voices and augment egos.

Someone called for the expulsion of Akron1. Others came to his defense. Representatives from all over the galaxy had their opinions and, emboldened by the lack of decorum on display, expressed themselves freely and without fear. No one, not even the Omniscient One, could hear themselves think.

“Hear, hear!”called council creature Jupiter, thumping their scepter on the glass floor in an attempt to return to some form of propriety. “Hear, hear!”

To further emphasize their point, the representative released their gravitational pull until they rose to an imposing height, hovering just above the heads of all other council members, a symbolic and effective gesture no one could ignore.

“I call upon the Council to show patience with the Earthlings,” they began.

“Patience,” Akron1 practically spit out the word. “We’ve shown them nothing but patience for almost five million years, longer if we count the centuries when their brains were mere buds. I would argue it is our excess of patience that has landed us here today, our very existence threatened by a planet of increasingly dangerous imbeciles.”

The reality of their statement settled like a weight upon all. The Omniscient One grew so intensely introspective it was if they’d become a light-sucking black hole. The manifestation of negative space was a problem none of us needed.

At that point, an elder representative from Zone9, an area least likely to be impacted by any behaviors of the Earth’s inhabitants, rose and cleared all three of its throats.

“Should Earth implode, whether by devious intention or, more likely it seems, by the ignorant actions of its inhabitants, we must demonstrate compassion,” it said.

Akron1 audibly scoffed.

“Perhaps,” said the Zone9 elder, “it is time to offer Earthlings guidance, give them some sort of sign to divert them from self-destruction and direct them once again toward the light? Didn’t that work rather well with that half-life planet — what was it called? — that nearly took out one of your moons?”

It addressed the representative from Jupiter.

“Yes,” they acknowledged. “But they never posed a serious threat, not like these Earthlings. We could survive without a moon or two or six, but the acts of Earthlings endanger not only our moons but also our very beings, and this after multiple evolutionary interventions.”

The Omniscient One emanated collective memory and all the beings fell silent as the relevant past events filtered through them. There was the era, about 2.6 million years earlier, when human earthlings were being consumed to near extinction by the hungry bacteria and virus class, and also by the larger species of Animalia. The poor fools were hopeless. Evidently, they were also delicious. At that time, the council came to an agreement, definitely not an unanimous decision but a decision just the same, to help the innocents help themselves. The council did this by introducing human Earthlings to the concept of tools. It seemed like a good idea at the time. But no sooner had Earthlings figured out how to smash the skull of a predator with a rock, then they turned upon each other. In a blink of an eye they’d developed weapons capable of wiping themselves off the face of space.

“We should have let them!” Akron1 said aloud.

He was appropriately hushed for the aural interruption. Then all returned to the collective memory presented by the Omniscient One which had fast-forwarded to approximately ten thousand or so years ago. At that point in time, Earthlings had divided and begun evolving in different directions and at vastly different paces. Even on that tiny orbiting rock, they’d managed to form destructive divisions between them. The council teleported experts to stealthily colonize all areas of the planet equally. The premise was that if Earthlings could get a handle on the basics, they would rise.

It was a hypothesis soon proven false.

The vast majority of Earthlings were still eons away from true understanding. But enough of them were capable of a smattering of geometry and geomancy skills. With that they engineered pyramids and stone circles, alas all now in ruins. These sites remained popular among Earthlings, and also with intergalactic adventure travelers who enjoyed exploring post-primordial cultures. Indeed, the relics were often cited as proof of the council’s past successes with evolution intervention.

“Oh come on,” Akron1 interrupted once again. “And what did Earthlings do with that precious knowledge we imparted? Not a damn thing! A few hundred years later, they’d entirely forgotten the original purpose and hold them in no more regard than if they were moon rocks!”

Once again the council objected. There was no room for disparaging remarks about moons in chambers. The Omniscient One sternly reprimanded Akron1.

When a moon representative rose to address the council, everyone expected it to demand an apology. No one could have predicted it would come to Akron1’s defense.

“Akron1 is simply saying aloud what all of us are thinking,” it said.

Not all, the Omniscient One corrected.

“Well, many are saying that the Earthlings cost the rest of us too much,” it said. “They use our resources. They litter space. They dabble in nuclear. They don’t even contribute to the council.”

“I don’t want them on the council,” said Akron1. “Can you imagine? They’d be a disaster!”

Then a representative of three planets, none of them important, brought up the time the council, after centuries of research and data gathering "and the Omniscient One only knows how much money” provided Earthlings with a concrete symbol of universal harmony in hopes their pea brains might grasp the concept.

“It was quite brilliant in its simplicity,” said Rep. 3-Planet. “We went with a black and white divided circle design because Earthlings are still thousands of years from seeing the full color spectrum. To this day they are incapable of seeing ultra violet. And they’re not even close to understanding, let alone visiting, other dimensions.

No judgement, the Omniscient One reminded all.

“Anyway,” said the 3-Planet representative, “my point is, few Earthlings understood the yin yang symbol on an intellectual level, let alone absorbed it in their DNA, so what’s the point of these interventions?”

“That’s what I’m saying,” Akron1 said with an emphatic nod of all his heads. “We send them teachers and they respond by worshiping them as gods.”

“Or kill them as heretics,” said the moon rep.

Jupiter said that moon rep, 3-planets and Akron1 had made their point, and that the elder council members position was well known and that it was time to make the decision.

“May I request the Omniscient One remind all once again the critical role of compassion when dealing with sentient beings lower on the evolutionary scale,” said Jupiter with all the formality required of the occasion.

The consequence of any decision had serious repercussions and the council did not take its responsibilities lightly. It went silent for a little over a century before a clerk announced a verdict had been reached. Everyone knew what such a quick decision likely meant.

Jupiter took their place at the podium, the galaxy on full display around them.

“The council has reached its decision,” Jupiter said.

And no sooner had they spoken the words when the third orb from the sun burst with a flash then dissipated into the dust from which it came.

Sci Fi

About the Creator

Vivian R McInerny

A former daily newspaper journalist, now an independent writer of essays & fiction published in several lit anthologies. The Whole Hole Story children's book was published by Versify Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2021. More are forthcoming.

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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  1. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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Comments (5)

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  • Call Me Les8 months ago

    Love the spirituality mixed with the science. I could just picture this debate unfolding. Very well done!

  • Babs Iverson8 months ago

    Fabulous! 👏💖💕

  • Cathy holmes8 months ago

    This is a great. Can't blame them for bashing humans. Love the humor as well.

  • Murry Haithcock8 months ago

    Anyone who bashed humans is okay in my book. To take such an outside view of the human race is a cool way to help see differently. Great job. I want to know how to absorb yin and Yang into my DNA

  • Joe Patterson8 months ago

    A very good conscious and interpersonal take on the challenge. I love how this story is a good introspective on our ways as humans, great job.

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