A grunt of frustration escaped me, in spite of my audience and the respect it commanded.
“You have to understand!”, I pleaded. “They have lives and family and so much more, just like you!”
“Theo,” the response echoed, “you’ve been one of our most valued advisors, but you simply aren’t right about this. They have no value, they don’t help us – for all we know, they don’t even have a consciousness of any sort. We can’t just keep sacrificing our space for nothing more than their existence.”
The other scientists on my panel nodded in agreement with the tribunal’s head, unanimously acknowledging their indifference towards my species – towards humanity.
“You understand, Theo,” the tribunal head reasoned, “that your status as a former human should not be relevant to this decision now that you have ascended – now that you have given up everything in your human history.”
“I do, sir,” I responded. “But that doesn’t mean that I have to agree with everyone else. Consider the implications of eradicating humanity – it sets precedent. We start with this invasive species – a species which, while it doesn’t help us at all, does not harm us in major ways. Soon, we’ll be getting rid of everything we don’t like without regards to the ecosystem, to the food chain, and to all of us as a global population!”
I hadn’t slept the previous night, with the knowledge of the tribunal weighing on me. Perhaps I was no longer human in their eyes, but I still felt human, and I still understood the importance of convincing the tribunal that the blind slaughter of humans would be a moral disaster.
“Sir,” I implored, “for the sake of everyone – no, for the sake of everything on this planet, please don’t hurt the humans. Yes, the scientists say they’re an invasive, undeveloped species. Yes, they can ocassionally cause minor problems with others of our ascended species. But none of that changes the fact that they are still beings with souls and hope and things to live for.”
My fellow panel members were visibly bored. They were about to make the wrong decision, and I was powerless to stop it.
“Theo,” the commitee chair responded, “if that is all, we would like to take the vote now.”
But I wasn’t done. There was more to the issue, and I wasn’t going to let the tribunal vote without making sure they had all the facts.
“Sorry, it’ll just be a few more minutes,” I answered to audible muttering. “It seems that the moral standpoint is not of importance to this panel, so I’ll try some science now.”
“Theo, we’re already aware of the science. And I’d like to remind you that you are only an honorary member of this panel, and that while we value your opinion, the objective standpoint has already been made clear to us by the rest of this panel.”
“I’m afraid it hasn’t, sir. The statistics that have been presented to you are cherry-picked, the surveys are flawed, and the ‘common knowledge’ aspect is nothing more than unjustified stereotypes. Yes, humans are statistically the largest biologically sentient cause of death for our species. And yes, they are an invasive species that are using our resources and providing nothing to us in return. But they also have huge intellectual potential, you see.”
Members of the panel and tribunal alike snorted and chuckled, amused. I was losing the most important battle of my life, but I was not going to give up yet.
“Laugh all you want, but historical records suggest that humans were at one point the most erudite of all the species on Earth. You can’t ignore the facts.”
“Theo, this is getting ridiculous,” the tribunal chief exclaimed. “Those records are extremely dated and in no way trustworthy.”
“That’s just the modern propoganda and you know it,” I denounced. “Humanity has contributed large amounts of technology to our species, and no scientist on this panel can deny those facts.”
“That’s it. You’ve disrespected us enough for one day,” a tribunal member exclaimed. “We’re done with this; please circle your vote on the slips you’ve been given and turn them in to the chief. Thank you for your time.”
I jumped up, my chair clattering back and a harsh glow in my eyes. I had never planned for it to get this far, but what was left for me to do at this point?
“Very well,” I shot back. “In that case, I would like to rescind my membership as one of your species.”
I stepped out of my mech to gasps of surprise from the tribunal.
“I never really felt like a mosquito, anyways.”