This is a exert of some writing I did over the weekend. I like how the beginning is taking shape and think it could lead to a meaty story. What do you think?
Rulel laughed, the long tendrils that hung from his chin and cheek lashing about violently as he thrust back in his chair in a still more violent laugh. “Humans. Help the Rura?” Again, his head lurched back and he laughed, even louder, if that was possible. “Don’t misunderstand me, the irony here is not beyond me. The Rura was the race engaged in this terrible civil war, but if there is one race that is better at self annihilation than the Rura, it is the humans.”
“And yet, it was a human that saved your race from the brink of destruction. Not to mention countless other worlds and races,” Adam put in, knowing all to well the many short comings of the human race, he had experienced many first hand as arbitrator of The United Colonized Worlds Consortium, not to mention that he, in fact, was human. Still, he knew there was something left in the human race that was…worth saving.
“One human.” Rulel answered back, his laugh now a growl. “One. Not the entire human race, just one human. And a female at that, the weaker gender of your kind.”
Adam thought about bringing up another point, a story about a women – a Rura women – that had once saved an entire ship that Adam himself was a passenger on, a ship that was doomed to forever float in the emptiness of space, the victim of a bad refitting just before she left port. It was a refit that left a large portion of the starboard side hull susceptible to radiation exposure. The male Rura engineer on board at the time refused to venture outside and fix the problem himself, spouting some non-sense that it was a death sentence, ignoring the fact that without the fix we would all soon be dead anyway. But a female Rura crew member volunteered, a cook. Not only did she save the ship, she lived to tell the story afterword to all the passengers on board.
Sometime afterwords, Adam and the other passengers on the ship departed and went their separate ways. Later, he would learn that the female Rura crew member that saved them all – Adam never did learn her name – was immediately hanged from the ships support beams once the passengers departed, for disgracing a male crew member in front of others.
“The human race as a whole cannot be counted on.” Rulel said, almost as an after thought.
Again, Adam bit his tongue.
Recognizing that this was hardly the time or place to point out all the holes in Rulel’s view of the universe, Adam moved on.
“Why don’t you tell me how this civil war amongst the Rura home worlds started.”
“It was a nothing more than a misunderstanding between government officials…a stupid argument really, but in the end aren’t they all stupid arguments?” Rulel grinned, the tendrils hanging from his face parting momentarily to show the opaque teeth hidden behind.
Adam grinned back, feeling a growing anger well up inside of him at Rulel’s claim that this was all a misunderstanding, a misunderstanding that eventually lead to the deaths of over a billion sentient beings on more than a dozen worlds.
“For most of our history, we have lived in an unsettled peace, like humans.” Rulel continued on, taking another jab at Adam. “There have been wars amongst our worlds before, but nothing seen on this scale, and certainly nothing that threatened the very existence of the Rura race.”
“Or the human race.” Adam added, before continuing taking notes on his data pad before him.
“Yes,” Rulel said, the irritation audible in his voice. “Or the human race.”
“Or the Menderil’s who fared the worst out of all races involved.” Adam once again broke in, not caring if Rulel was becoming irritated or not.
“Yes, a shame.” Rulel added, emotion noticeably missing from his concern. “As I was saying, the level and amount of destruction was considerable for all parties involved. For the Rura in particular, the destruction was devastating, so much so that our extinction was foreseen by many parties and educated scientists intimately involved with the struggle.”
“The fact that the Rura came so close to wiping themselves out makes what you – almost – did a first for all races in the known universe.” Adman continued on, now not caring if the matter at hand should be treated with delicate gloves or not. This was a tribunal, after all, formed to determine the guilt or innocence of Rulel and his henchman that, it is claimed, destroyed so much over such a short period of time.
Rulel shot Adam an angry look. “If my understanding of human history is correct, your race has come pretty close to destroying themselves many times: during the first Sol system war, for example, a war that literally almost broke the Moon you call Ganymede in half, not to mention your people totally razing the surfaces of two other worlds. How many died in those episodes of your history?” Rulel asked, now leaning forward in his chair, daring Adam to look him in the eyes when he answered.
Adam started to reply only to be cut-off as Rulel continued on in another rant.
“And that was only the first Sol System War. There would be two more, each more destructive and damaging then the other.”
“I will admit,” Adam said when it was clear that Rulel was done interrupting him, “that those who call – and still call the Sol System home – were a warring people who have brought nothing but death and destruction to many. Those that still call the Sol System home, and more specifically, those that still call Earth home – The Earthers, The Direct Earth Descents and The Earthers Union – can be…short tempered. But-”
Rulel started to say something but Adam cut him off, determined to get his point across.
“But! As we have ventured out amongst the stars, that warring mentality has become less and less as more than a dozen colonized worlds have known almost a complete history of peace and prosperity.” Adam paused, starring Rulel in the eye as he sat back in his chair. “With the Rura, the opposite is true. The more your race ventures out amongst the stars, the more hostile you all have become…and not only to one another, but also to any sentient race that gets in your way when trying to talk to you on a rational level.”
“Are you finished?” Rulel asked after a moment of silence, rolling his eyes, trying to make it look like he was bored.
“Not even close,” Adam thundered back, causing Rulel to rock impatiently in his chair. “This last conflict, the one I came here today to talk to you about, was so devastating that it brought three races to the edge of extinction, one of them being your own, another one being mine. What do you have to say about that?”
“A shame.” Rulel answered back, enjoying the rise he was getting out of Adam, a rise that Adam tried to hide on his face at the disregard for the conflict at hand and its aftermath. “When I told you that the conflict started over a stupid argument amongst government officials, I also meant to add that the conflict that followed was justified.”
Now it was Adam’s turn to roll his eyes and shift irritable in his chair. “I’m listening Rulel, but start from the beginning and leave nothing out. If you value your freedom and do not wished to be hanged for your crimes you are accused of, your best chance at vindication is to tell the truth from beginning to end.”