Chapter 1: Specimen A
Planet Turo, 2130 hours:
"So then, how does the accused plead?"
A booming voice rang out from across a podium, heard by many ambassadors across various different planets seated in their seats at the Council Meeting Hall.
This was the moment that they have all been waiting for. Many of the Council members felt like this was a meeting not to miss. Most of them had agreed to come even on short notice. They had been summoned to the Galactic Federation HQ on Planet Turo to partake in the hearing of a tried criminal today. Instead of the usual weekly boring debates and talks, today they actually had a criminal case to supervise. Not only that, but instead of the usual squabbles about taxes and interplanetary divide lines, the charges for the accused were of a rather different and unique nature this time. They were certain that things would be interesting.
"Not guilty!" The four eyed being that was held in the centre of the vast hall folded his arms defiantly. His declaration of innocence led to the thousands of Council members observing him reacting with a mixture of intrigue, shock, and even suspicion.
Many of the Council members started to chuckle amongst themselves. Yes, this meeting was indeed going to be interesting.
"Silence! Order in the court!" the same booming voice from the podium demanded. A tall teal woman took a step forward on her podium at the centre of the huge hall, further showing off her authority as the Grand Councilwoman in charge of the Galactic Council. The Council members immediately complied. No one dared to make a move against her. After all, they could easily have their fun when they sentenced the defendant if he was guilty.
"Dr. Jumba Jookiba, we have reason to believe the tip-off that we have received from our informant," she continued. "Despite your plea, the Council is still under the impression that you have actually made an attempt to create artificial life via genetic experimentation."
"Don't be ridiculous!" Jumba looked up at the Grand Councilwoman and her main jury with firm conviction, "I am head scientist of Galaxy Defence Industries! Doing something like that would be breach in employer's trust!" he finished, closing all four of his eyes with his hands on his hips.
After a few seconds, Jumba opened his eyes and felt the cold stare of the Grand Councilwoman on him. He immediately looked back down and started fiddling with his lab coat. "You, uh, don't believe Jumba?"
"Not in the slightest, I am afraid." The Grand Councilwoman gave an incredulous look. "You will have to convince me," she said, before pointing her arm to her left and right, "and the rest of the Council."
Jumba started to laugh. "Well then, assuming that what you say is true, such genetic experiments will be not more than hypotheses and theories! Mere formulae on computer, nothing more…"
The Grand Councilwoman turned to a large whale-like alien to her left and whispered. "Captain Gantu, it appears the defendant needs to be shown Specimen A."
Gantu saluted, "Yes, ma'am!" He then dropped his salute, and reached down below the podium and proceeded to hold up something covered in cloth. "I will drop the bombshell now."
"Not now, Gantu!" she said harshly.
"Sorry, my liege! It's just that—"
She cut Gantu off, gesturing to Jumba with a grin. "We wait for the perfect timing. To put it bluntly, we let Dr. Jumba finish."
"I see… that's brilliant!" Gantu nodded his head, understanding what his superior had in her mind. "I'll like to see that idiot scientist talk his way out of this one." he muttered, focusing back to the blabbering Jumba.
"…as untrained mind can easily compromise what is on paper with reality. You see, genetics is a dangerous field. Such potential hypothetical errors can lead to much mayhem…"
Gantu put his head to his hand in boredom. "Man, this guy loves the sound of his own voice."
"I agree." The Grand Councilwoman gazed around the dome, seeing her Council members starting to yawn at Jumba making his long, drawn-out testimony. "In fact, I think the Council is actually being bored to death."
2200 hours, thirty minutes later…
"…and that is why I would never, ever do something like this in practice. Without proper understanding about complexities of deoxyribonucleic acid, any wrong combination of proteins can actually…"
Jumba was still giving his testimony without showing any signs of slowing down or stopping. By now, the Council was half dazed. Out of the thousands seated all around the dome, more than half of them were asleep. They were prepared for what was supposed to be an exciting court trial, not a massive science lecture.
"Grand Councilwoman, can we please shut that idiot scientist up!" Gantu's eye was twitching with impatience. He was getting extremely fed up.
The Grand Councilwoman too was starting to get tired of Jumba's droning. Try as she might though, she wasn't allowed to interrupt his testimony. Firstly it was against Intergalactic Law for the accused to not make their stand.
And second, she wanted to see if Jumba would slip up and reveal his true motivations.
"…of course, I cannot expect such uneducated minds like yours to understand!" Jumba pointed to himself with pride in his face, "This is beyond your comprehension. With such genius mind like mine…"
"That's it!" The Grand Councilwoman changed her mind. She was not going to let her Council get insulted. "Gantu, release the cloth!" she commanded.
Gantu heaved a sigh of relief. Finally, that idiot scientist would shut up, "With pleasure, Grand Councilwoman." With a flourish, he whipped off the cloth, revealing its contents to the Council.
Jumba suddenly stopped talking, which caught the attention of the entire Council, at least those who were still conscious. Wondering the reason why the defendant would suddenly shut up, they proceeded to follow Jumba's gaze and focused their new attention on a glass capsule being held up in Gantu's left arm.
Seeing Dr. Jumba's stunned face, the Grand Councilwoman smirked to herself.
From the start, she wished to bait the scientist into thinking that the Council had nothing on him but the tip-off. The moment he was arrested however, they had in fact nabbed the evidence straight from his lab at Galaxy Defence Industries.
The Grand Councilwoman had known that the accused was lying ever since he pleaded innocence. Jumba professing his innocence in spite of the evidence they had proved that he either had something to hide or was trying to get himself falsely acquitted. Plus, lying to the council jury could easily be another additional charge compounded onto Jumba's sentence.
The Council left nothing to chance. Just the way it should be.
They had no choice. The United Galactic Federation consisted of many galaxies and planets, all home to millions of different alien species. It prided itself on having colonised over twenty percent of all life in the universe. All of its planetary members consisted of intelligent life that has been capable enough to invent intergalactic space travel on their own.
Once that threshold is reached, a planet and its inhabitants would be given an offer of membership into the Federation. They will be briefed on its known laws to prevent misunderstandings between them and given a stake in Council meetings when drafting new laws. Despite being a humongous pain in manpower needed to check for emerging planets with intelligent lifeforms, this was a necessary step. The sheer array of member planets, each with their varying own ethics, laws, and alliances, meant that without appropriate treaties and agreements in place, intergalactic conflict and mayhem would be a certainty.
And breaking those laws would be very, very bad. Any threat to such a fragile system like the Federation and the interplanetary treaties could be smashed, resulting in an all-out war waged across the cosmos.
She contemplated that, remembering what had happened to her predecessor in the Grand Council. Back then, many millennia ago, she had been his assistant, and her superior was a carefree idiot. He was so confident in his authority as the Council Head and his ability to stop conflict that he didn't realise that two neighbouring planets had been feuding until it was too late.
The tiny battle escalated, and the resulting intergalactic war wound up lasting for a century and costing the Federation trillions of dollars' worth of damage, not to mention the unbelievable number of casualties sustained from the many battles. Despite everything, no one was willing to listen to her superior, even though he was the Council Head. It was every species for themselves. No planet cared at all about the Council order to stand down amongst all the chaos when it meant they could get eradicated by a passing threat.
The entire Galactic Federation, for all its influence with all its treaties, had ground to a massive halt.
After it was all over, he had been dragged on trial by the rest of the Galactic Council. Unfortunately for him, many of the Council members consisted of ambassador representatives from planets caught in the crossfire. It was almost unanimously agreed that he was not fit to lead, and as a result, he was demoted and imprisoned for gross negligence and incompetence.
The Grand Councilwoman subconsciously adjusted her golden collar, the mark of leadership for the Council Head. The Council has elected her to succeed her predecessor, and she had resolved not to make the same mistakes as him.
She would not be a lazy, carefree leader. She will be the most respected leader across half of the cosmos, ruling with fairness and impunity. If it means occasionally clamping down with an iron fist, then so be it. She would rather be seen as harsh rather than kind. If it's one thing she learned, too much kindness implies weakness, and weakness is a very bad quality to show when you are in charge of intergalactic debates.
With that in her mind, she turned away from Jumba, not even bothering to hide the glee in her smile. She had already beaten this new threat, snuffing it out before it could begin. The Council would almost certainly imprison him now.
"So then, Dr. Jumba, what do we have here?" she questioned, peering into Gantu's glass capsule and taking her first look at Jumba's creation.
What was inside the glass could be best described as a furry, pudgy yellow creature. It lay slumped, lying down immobile on the jar base with its eyes closed.
"Gantu?" the Grand Councilwoman's amusement faded.
Gantu leaned down towards her so that Jumba and the rest of the Council could not hear their conversation, "Yes?"
"I thought your men assured me that this thing was alive."
"It is!" he insisted, glancing down to the unmoving being in his glass capsule. "I-I mean…"
"Well," she continued unamused, "your Specimen A appears to be a statue."
"Ma'am, I assure you, my guards raided Jumba's lab and they swear on their honor that—"
"Silence!" she interrupted, closing in on the retreating Gantu. "Captain Gantu, you assured me that this 'Specimen A' could instantly incarcerate Dr. Jumba! So what is the meaning of this?"
"Uh…" Gantu couldn't say a thing. His body was starting to betray him with fear when he was suddenly saved by the most unlikely figure.
"Hey there, what's the big idea?" a nasally voice interrupted their conversation.
The Grand Councilwoman's gaze narrowed. "What was that, Captain Gantu? How dare you talk to me like that?"
"Uh, that wasn't me." Gantu replied.
The new voice spoke again. "Down here, geniuses."
Gantu and the Councilwoman could detect sarcasm dripping from its tone of speech. Both of them peered down to the source of the voice, just in time to see Jumba's genetic experiment blinking its groggy eyes from within its glassy prison. Seeing that it now had their attention, it lazily stretched its arms while yawning.
"I was taking such a good nap," it moaned, "Did you really have to be so loud and ruin my beauty sleep?"
So I was watching Lilo & Stitch the other day when it struck me on how different the trial would be if they got another experiment instead of Stitch. I originally envisioned it as a one-shot, but one idea led to another, and well here I am.
In case you have only ever watched the first film, the experiment here is supposed to be Reuben. You know, just for those unaware.