A villainous fiend is tried for his crimes. (Contest Entry)
“Please read the charges.”
“Pfft, if you must,” Narphon Corplthrat stood in righteous indignation behind an invisible shield, twisting the end of his villainous antenna, eyes shadowed by a brilliant column of light in the pitch-black, cavernous chamber. These people, this civilization, were beneath him, mere specks, as a virus would be lost against the immensity of a star.
“Charge number one: Planetary Tyranny.”
“Nonsense!” Narphon rejected. “I saved the Thereg! If not for me, they would’ve been destroyed! They were on the verge of leaving their system for the nearest habitable world, and those Corpallia would have devoured them all! You should be thanking me!”
“So, you enslaved them?” the arbiter noted.
“The Thereg? It worked, didn’t it? The sweet serenity of a controlled populace. Reminds me of my youth.” Then, he smirked, crossing his arms proudly, confident in himself. “My father really knew how to subjugate an entire populace…a visionary! An iconic mentor! Shame he stood in the way of a much larger dream. After his termination, I knew there was no going back.” Narphon glared devilishly. “Anyways, the Thereg are still here, aren’t they?”
“And the other planet? You nearly eradicated them.”
“You mean processed…for food. The Corpallia were experiencing a famine, so I harvested the bulk of their population to feed the Thereg, leaving just enough Corpallia to thrive on their existing rations. Fairly clever really…though neither really appreciated the irony,” he realized.
Whispers from the shadows, and the next charge was read, “The second charge: Planetary destruction.”
“You’re taking that out of context!”
“Do you deny it?”
“I deny nothing, especially the destruction of Korla,” Narphon said, “and you can’t ignore the good I’ve accomplished.”
“How, in your delusional mind, can you justify the destruction of an entire planet?”
“Delusional? I did the galaxy a favor! Those Korlans where about to open a dimensional breach to the twelfth realm that would’ve flooded the entire sector with Netherbeasts. I took action, graciously commanding my drones to acquire their gateway and incorporated it into my world crushing engine. Happily, their planet was the perfect test subject and our experiment went off without a hitch. It was such a relief to see Korla crushed into oblivion on the first try. Honestly, we’d never done that before and my scientists needed a win. I mean, if that thing had failed, boy, it would have been bad for them.”
“So, are we done here?” Narphon asked impatiently. “I’ve got things to do.”
Low mumbling and then, “The third charge…”
“You know, I’m over this. I honestly don’t know what all the fuss is about and don’t get why so many systems put up such a fight. I’ve saved whole civilizations from the suffering of plagues by devastating their population before the disease gets out of control. I’ve prevented long, drawn-out wars by providing doomsday weapons to both factions. I’ve even commandeered dangerous technology and eradicated their ability to produce more by wiping the minds of the greatest scientists. I can’t tell you the number of cultures I’ve saved from the drudgery and confusion of their own freedoms by subjugating whole star systems at a time.” He clenched his fist in defiance.
The floor shuddered.
“And this is the thanks I get – captured and tried whilst you taunt me. Honestly, I’ve never encountered a species as suspicious and ungrateful as you. You call yourselves ‘Hoo-mon.’ Stupid name, if you ask me.”
The floor rumbled again.
“Still, for all the good I’ve done, it seems I’m now to be nothing more than a curiosity for a primitive race of giants. “Don’t you know who I am? I am Narphon the Beneficent, Savior of the Naive, Liberator of Ingenuity, Conqueror of the Doomed! This is outrageous! I am beyond such interrogation! I demand you kneel before me!”
“Enough! For your crimes, the punishment is…”
A click, and the entire space filled with blinding light. Narphon Corplthrat finally faced the enormity of his accusers.
“Mom wait!” Tommy shouted as she lifted the clear plastic cup, smashing the little insect flat with a newspaper.
“Seriously, Tommy, I told you and your brother not to bring those disgusting things in the house. Keep your animals and insects outside. I’m not telling you again.”
“Aw, mom…it was just some fun.” William switched his flashlight off. “Its buzzing almost sounded like talking.”
“Well, Michael was looking for you two. Said something about a new alien invasion game.”
They immediately bolted for the door. “Sweet!”