Hito Yon and Mr. Tanaka stared at Al as they digested the horror of that idea. Al bristled. "It’s not horrible," she protested.
"Are you insane?" Hito Yon snapped back. "You’re talking about committing genocide on the entire planet. That’s over six billion lives you’re just…casually eliminating."
Al frowned. "People on this world are already being killed because of a conflict of cultures every day. You even acknowledge it yourselves: you call it ‘ethnic cleansing’ in the larger scale and ‘hate crimes’ on the smaller. Far more than six billion people will die for those reasons in humanity’s future if those issues are not resolved. Their deaths will just be strung out over the centuries instead of occurring in a single, clean fashion that would allow humanity to move forward as a unified and improved society."
Hito started to voice his outrage again, but Mr. Tanaka held up a hand to forestall him. "You implied that your mission failed," Mr. Tanaka said. "What will the Empire do now?"
Al frowned. "I had not considered," she admitted. "I am no longer a member of the Empire, so the execution of their policies are no longer my responsibility or concern."
"Oh, really?" Hito asked heatedly. "If you’re not one of them anymore, then it’s your life that’ll be forfeit, too, if they start murdering everyone on earth."
Al’s frown deepened. "You raise a cogent point," she said. "They will most likely send another representative. My failure demonstrated that I was unfit to represent them – they will find someone one more capable to send in my stead."
"Wonderful," Mr. Tanaka said dryly. "So we have to figure out how to intercept their next representative and make sure her expedition fails, too."
Al looked at him, aghast. "You don’t understand," she protested. "An imperial is superior to one of us by definition. If another expedition failed, it would be…" she groped for the words to describe the concept.
"…a threat to imperial dogma?" Mr. Tanaka suggested.
Al swallowed. "I was going to say: ‘a crime against nature,’" she said. "But I suppose your description is accurate, too."