Chapter 5 – When Presidents Beg (page 7 of 10)

"36 million humans!" I shouted, curiously pondering to myself where he got a word as big as 'insufflation'.

"No, Tek, just 36 million New Terrans, mostly tortoises and a bunch of apes. But there’s humans in there too, we’re almost confident of it."

"36 million demi-New Terralings is unacceptable. Why have they done this to us?"

The vice-dictator shrugged with indifferent ignorance, pulled out a Neptunian cyber-handkerchief and wiped his perspirate brow with a cocktail of steroids and contraband age-defying stem cells. "They're saying we rained down with a fury of hell-fire on their planets, even though they weren't party to the galactic wars."

"But they were," I quickly ejaculated.

"Some were, in that they were in adjacent quadrants to rebels, but not all of them. It seems there are a handful of sophisticated galaxies with maybe nine or ten billion civilizations that weren't cartographically similar nor in any considerable proximity to the peoples that we entirely destroyed. For some reason those guys are pretty pissed off about it."

"Send in the army again," I said, myself sweating now more from excitement of war than of excitement of that damned Charlize, who I'm sure was evaluating me on my every syllable as I spoke.

"We can't, Tek, you know we ‘disbanded’ them upon proclamation of peace." They’re still on payroll of course, but we’re pretty sure they’re working for the Stop Killing Us Front of All The Universe, so it’s a no-edged sword."

The President was still on the floor, his personal medic crew furiously working to resuscitate him with etojabbers and meccotators. It looked like they were making some headway despite powerful protests from the laws of nature.

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