Ecological Purity or Tyranny?

F’vrel, a renowned Martian Xenobiologist, has been arrested on Silkweave, home planet of the eight-legged Venomite people. Official records list his crimes as “trafficking invasive species and corrupting the ecosystems of Silkweave.”

The arrest was done in traditional Venomite fashion: by completely cocooning the alleged criminal in webbing. Enraged Martian diplomats have arranged for F’vrel to be placed in a more humane prison, but the Venomite King has defended the arrest.

“We found this foreigner, F’vrel, smuggling alien lifeforms to our planet in bulk. We have found and destroyed several, but not all, of his specimens. We are willing to grand full amnesty to F’vrel and return him to Mars should he reveal to us where the vermin lifeforms are. Should he refuse, the potential ecological damage to Silkweave could be catastrophic,” Vllarion, the Venomite king, said in a statement yesterday.

The creatures in question, horned craterwolves, have no natural predators on Silkweave and can breed and hunt at an astonishing rate. Many Martians agree that F’vrel flouted ethical protocol in bringing an invasive species to Silkweave. Many biologists confirm that should the craterwolves escape captivity, severe ecological damage could result.

However, F’vrel has steadfastly refused to reveal to whom he gave the remaining craterwolves. Silkweave’s authorities permitted us a short interview with the imprisoned scientist and he reiterated his stance in fiery terms.

“There are thousands of impoverished Venomites on Silkweave. Trained craterwolves with their keen sense of smell can help them find the resources they need to survive the long winters on this world. The Venomite King’s gross obstinance on this issue will cost many of his subjects their lives. This isn’t about ecology, this is about a tyrant wanting to keep a iron grip on power. Why should I tell him where those craterwolf pups are? He will kill the pups and in doing so damage the hopes of the underclass. I will give my blood to protect those pups!” F’vrel said.

F’vrel grew up in an impoverished family and has previously written several books on how science can be used to mitigate food scarcity. In addition to his discoveries, he has been known for his fiery and almost anarchistic political views. He has often said that political restraints on research are holding the galaxy back from its true potential.

At press time, it is uncertain who will cave in the standoff first. F’vrel appears to be in no mood to negotiate. The Venomite King knows that executing the famed scientist would anger numerous planetary governments, but he could face a coo from many of his generals if this latest perceived insult to Venomite authority goes unchallenged. Furthermore, these events have spurred planets around the world into renewing an age-old debate: Is it better to keep a planet’s ecosystem “pure” or is it possible to domesticate lifeforms from multiple planets without destroying a planet’s natural beauty?

This is a developing story.

Venomites view webs as things of beauty.

Photo by Frances Gunn on Unsplash

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