I sat at my desk and stared at the overhead of my compartment. The thrum of the ship's superlight drive reminded me that I was on my way to the aftermath of yet another war.
My last two reports had shaken the very foundation of the Council of Species. My name was now roundly blessed and cursed with equal fervor. My superiors had handed me an assignment in the back end of nowhere, trying to bury me in obscurity. My colleges had handed me some of the most well-renowned awards for journalism.
I was sick and tired of it all. All I wanted was to retire in peace, but that would never happen. Not now. Flynn Was still hounded by Interviewers, seeking confirmation of my report. The relevant areas of Mars were still radioactive craters, after a series of highly suspicious 'reactor meltdowns'. The Investigations Bureau was having a field-day, and probably getting migraines from all of the dead ends. Literally in most cases.
The whole thing reeked of a cover-up, but it was out of my hands now. I opened the folder containing the details of my latest assignment, half inclined to simply toss the paperwork in the trash and send in a letter of resignation instead of a report.
Hmm, Alpha Centauri. An old human colony, their only one outside the Sol system from before the Council found them. I skimmed the instructions section, sickened by what I found. The Council wanted me the schmooze up to the Humans on Alpha Centauri, and file a report on their military and defensive measures.
I could already smell the Council's fear in the air. Humans had proven to be far more destructive than anything the Council had seen before, and all to willing to pry into things that shouldn't be. So the council wanted to exterminate them. I started composing my report, already intending for it to also be my letter of resignation.
I didn't include a single thing on Alpha Centauri. Nothing from post-contact Humanity. Nothing from the three millennia of Voidfaring Humanity.
Instead, I put in a short letter of resignation and a list of Human works, both historical and fictitious, from Humanity's Atomic Era. Slaughterhouse-Five, Fahrenheit 451, In Fury Born, the music of Sabaton, the televised series M*A*S*H, the biographies and autobiographies of numerous war veterans, the official After-Action Reports of hundreds of thousands of incidents from all sides.
The Council might fear Humanity, but Humanity fears itself. It has its dark sides, but by and large it has bound them in chains of duty, honor, law, and justice.
I concluded my letter of resignation: "make war on them at your own peril, for you will be awakening a sleeping giant and provoking it beyond all reason."
I sealed my letter, and started searching for a new job.