Once, we were 11. Many millenia ago, when the stars burned brighter and lived longer. We were 11 of varying sizes on rotating axes of varying degrees. Had we been hollow, one might have fit inside the polished shell of another until we were merged together, a single ball of component matter, all inside me. For I am the largest and therefore, by simple rules, the big cheese (though I am made of ice). Not one of is hollow, however. We are rock, fire, ice. Some of us, like the eleventh, have damp properties, where vegetation grows and expects us to play host to its putrescent little parties. Others have shells that crumble continuously to form a mass of non-moving mess, whilst others, though not yet hollow, are at risk of becoming so due to the burrowing beasts that bore through their interiors. Some have variable weather systems, while others only have the constant crackle of electricity.

We got on well, despite our differences. We sat in God's cradle and rocked away time itself. We existed side by side and we shared one understanding - that we would never change except by nature's course. Because the sea's wearing away of rock, and the damage inflicted by volcanic activity are all part of our evolution; but should one of us decide to change course, run amok on a different orbit, or even slow our pace a little, it could be catastrophic.

Things started going wrong when the planet they call Earth began to change, to grow. He said it was progression. We said it was disgusting, letting those parasites act like they owned him. And so we would fall out, and make up. And fall out again. Seeing those little sparks of fire in his greener areas, and those constructed irrigation systems, were bad enough. But then those pests started adding depth as they built structures that rocked the biosphere (and yes, how smug when he used such words) and sent jumping machines up to the moon. It was ridiculous. It was doomed to fail. We would make sure of it.

So, now we are ten. Earth's position had become, let us say, somewhere above and beyond. He had 'outgrown' us long before we decided to take action. The verdict was unanimous. The planet known as Earth had to go.

Being smaller, lighter, and stupider than many of us it was an easy enough task to distract and shoot at the right moment. We would each shift our weight to create the right amount of tension and momentum needed to hit that big old rock into a whole new galaxy, and if we got it right he'd take a nose-dive straight into the black hole at its centre. And we did get it right, for a while. Though he didn't disappear into a black hole, he did end up very very very far away, and that was that for a long time. But things have started happening. We knew he was stupid but it never occurred to us that he might lose control completely. You see, the parasites aren't happy enough spoiling one planet; they've started coming, uninvited, to our galaxy, with their contraptions and their ridiculous need for oligarchy. They may be small, but they're vicious, and hell-bent on conquest. Right now we are ten, but who nows how many we will be tomorrow.