'Just One Human' by Sarah Nicholson
All it would take was just one human from this lousy planet to care.
Creeda surveyed the latest consignment through the mirrored glass. Each wired to monitor every emotional flicker.
Varti was prosecuting today; he liked to put on a theatrical performance.
“This is your planet,” he began, spinning the glistening sphere in mid-air. “For many years you have abused its natural resources, polluted the ground with your toxins. You have not maintained the equilibrium and for that crime your world is on its final warning. If no one can be found as caretaker, your planet will be destroyed.”
The sphere cracked like an egg showing the full extent of the toxic damage. Its molten core spewed out into a lifeless puddle. The stench was said to be overpowering to humans and yet most remained unmoved.
Uncommonly the monitor bleeped, Creeda scanned the faces with incredulity. Just one betrayed emotion, a single tear of compassion.
According to the law that was all that was required.