Nocturnes: Sentence, After Landing And Court-Martial

Transcendence was much more convenient for
the kind of conversation our conflict
required.  But my Foe, my fierce Enemy---
always a master showman when it came
to demonstrating his own argument;
or proving an opponent wrong before
a captive audience (like this small crowd
of curious but primitive shepherds)---
insisted on the antiquated forms
that we had long abandoned, practically,
keeping them only for material
tasks that cannot progress transcendently.
The primitives, intently watching, kept
their discrete distance from our theater
of operation and debate.  We were---
admittedly, conspicuously---strange
in form and substance when materially
revealed to them.  (Transcendent, we would be
perceived by their senses of sight and sound
as shimmering conglomerates of sparks.)
My Captain, once; and now my Enemy,
took form (the primitives gasped, in surprise;
his height and girth far greater than theirs), and
forced me also.  He was extremely cruel
and also quite verbose---those two aspects,
combined, could cost much in both time and lives.
"This is not your first violation of
"our policies, and not your first exile
"after disclosures far too sensitive
"for local circumstances.  You will be
"bound here, transcendent, by transcendent power;
"wholly unable to remove yourself
"from---or change---this condition.  Nor will you
"communicate with them," his tentacles
all pointed toward the primitives (among
our cultures, such a gesture meant contempt),
"or with such sympathizers who (damned fools
"they are) might visit this star system just
"to liberate you or alleviate
"your pains.  You will be watched:  a stinging drone
"will be here to ensure you do not move,
"and will report---with each change of the light
in this chaotic atmosphere, graystreaked---
"your status, and the newly harnessed force
"of Perpetuition will operate
"with no surcease of energy.  Should you
"attempt escape, or, bound, communicate
"somehow with these," again the gesture of
contempt, "the drone will sting you thoroughly.
"Look at the beak on that thing.  You well know---
"despite your efforts contrary to our
"customs---the agonies of punishment
"to both transcendent or material
"states, will affect them most efficiently.
"Enjoy endless retirment, my old friend."
At those words, my peers who had witnessed this
returned to our---their---ship.  My enemy
lingered, both of us now transcendent, and
asked me (but as sincerely as he could---
an aspect of him he had kept concealed
the whole time that we served together), "Why
"did you endanger our whole mission, and
"destroy your own career, just for those freaks
"out there?" another gesture of contempt
followed.  "Look at them, mutants every one,
"retaining just enough brains to survive.
"Look  at the wrecked surface on which they live.
"Their life spans have been compromised because
"they sheathed their bombs in the Forbidden Blue.
"Their bloodlust is genetically maintained.
"No rehabilitation we could grant
"will change that.  Nor could they ever take part
"in our Hegemony.  No.  Nor can you.
"This little interruption has put us
"behind the mission's schedule.  And that is
"a detrimental mark on our record.
"I hope you will be satisfied with that.
"This is not the first time you have betrayed
"our purposes, and my command.  But it
"is the last time, and you have no appeal."
"I  will be recommending to Control
"that this small, yellow star and its system
"be quarantined---especially this third
"planet, once blue and green and beautiful,
"and now turning decomposition's gray.
"Farewell Prometheus, my former Friend."



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Ground's picture

This story

You kept me quite in it. Very much enjoyed the tide. Made me feel alot. 

© Ground

Starward's picture

Oh, wow, what a fantastic

Oh, wow, what a fantastic complimet, especially after your kind remarks on the vampire poem.  Wow, I am just amazed by this, and kind of knocked over by it, so this may not be a lengthy reply (for some reason, going back to my childhood, when I get a compliment I want to go hide).  Thank you so much for making my day---which itself promises to be difficult in more than one way---much brighter than it would have been otherwise!