Aug. 10th, 2011

"All right," said Wisest Sapieri once the council had assembled. "What do we know about the Nomar?"

Intrepid Rogon stepped to the speaking podium. "We have been in contact with them only for the past three chronons, Wisest," said the scout. "The amount of reliable information we have gathered is unfortunately scanty. And what we know isn't good news." Intrepid Rogon illuminated the overhead viewer, and a field of stars swam into view.

"Here are the 80 homeworlds of our own Graceful Community," said Intrepid Rogon, limning a compact bundle of points with a red glow. "We have been running into the Nomar here, along the spinward front. We can't be certain, but we believe this to be the approximate volume of the space they control." Another portion of the star field glowed green. Some of the council members gasped.

"So large an area compared to ours," murmured Wise Hnan. Intrepid Rogon nodded.

"At least four hundred homeworlds, Wise One," he said. "And they are expanding aggressively. The Nomar are organized, efficient and warlike. Their technology is first-rate. They have powerful leadership, and they appear to have a religious mandate to conquer all of known space. I consider the threat posed to the Graceful Community to be extreme, council members. Should a total commitment military conflict arise between us and the Nomar, the Nomar will inevitably prevail."

There was a stunned silence as the council digested this analysis. Within her Nest of Oversight, Wisest Sapieri stirred.

"Then it would seem that we have little choice," she said. "We must use The Weapon."

The council buzzed. None disagreed openly, and many nodded, but using The Weapon was a matter of extreme gravity. Wisest Sapieri waved her multicolored fronds for silence.

"Intrepid Rogon," she intoned, "I leave this matter in your hands. Enter the atmosphere of the interdicted world and bring forth a human, then leave it where the Nomar will find it."

Intrepid Rogon bowed three times. "I shall do this or die trying, Wisest," he said.

"Yes, but be careful," Wisest Sapieri advised. "I don't need to tell you how dangerous humans are."

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