…as negotiations occasionally do.
The planetary government, although we tried to be reasonable, were intractable about their “cultural autonomy.” First contact subjects simply don’t understand, the notion of autonomy of any sort’s preposterous.
They’re part of a larger universe now. New species’ must learn to subjugate themselves to something larger than mere planetary ambitions.
Some refuse to understand this, I learned long ago. It was the toughest part of my position as a diplomat of the Empire.
I sighed, and gave the command.
The navigator set co-ordinates for the return trip as, below, our bombs rained down upon the planet…