Part of USS Ahwahnee: Thoughts From Underground and Bravo Fleet: Sundered Wings

Entropy

Foshir III
77416.6
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Arms cannot span

This mountain distance

-it is thornbush

And grey, and vast,

But stones cast,

Do rattle and clap,

Far into the deep earth,

One for you, one for you,

All of this for you,

Flung from the bottom to the top,

Through the sun

 

Sirens blared a wounded howl. Orange skies were pastel hued from skyline furnaces, obscured by thick dusty haze. Jungle carbon returned, entropic, to the atmosphere. Animal calls drowned out by the tear of impulse engines called a retreat, and the slithering, crawling, flying and scuttling flow of creatures from the bombardment zones began.

Antimatter blasts erupted green. A ripple of earth thundered across alluvial plain. Souls and structures swallowed by walls of heaving clay.

Under cover of darkness, their crouched bodies made a different kind of flood. Buildings, the ones still standing, were swarmed. More flashes of green, smaller now. Precision strikes. Executions, planned for months, carried out. Some came from the drop ships. Others came from the interior.

Vast forgotten realms, networked by forest tracks, had grown their own societies. Opinions and cultures, histories and philosophies had formed under the canopy mists. They watched the outsiders come with a wary eye. Factional differences remained, and there were even advantages to be had. Their technology was useful. But those who called themselves the “Tal Shiar” had come, too. They spoke of subjugation, of rightful ownership and control of the land.

Now it was time for the outsiders to go. The Tal Shiar, friends of the Foshirrans, had promised to help. Today, that help arrived.

 

***

 

“They’re coming,” the Imperial Commandant’s back was braced against the massive wooden doors.

The Adjutant’s face looked back, taught with fright, “We must surrender.”

“Free State filth will NOT control these mines!”

“We’ve lost the settlement, sir,” the Adjutant implored, “no one’s coming. Everything’s tied up at Velorum.”

“We’ll activate the singularity chamber then,” the Commandant controlled his anger. His mouth, like a wound torn across the skin of his face, spat the words, “pathetic opportunists will pay with their lives.”

 

Comments

  • Short, sweet, and damn effective. Powerful exposition that lurches us as readers forward by pulling us through the scene as if we're dodging the blasts and destruction ourselves and it ends with a foreboding statement...then we are pushed into an almost MInis Tirith moment that is fleeting but still pulls the reader along. This was a fun little read - nice job!

    June 18, 2022
  • You never disappoint. Reading a chapter of Ahwahnee is never what I could possible imagine -- it's unlike any other fiction across Bravo Fleet. As Peter remarked, your prose here is so full of flavour that I can see and FEEL what's happening, even though I don't have the precise facts or figures expounding every pew-pew-pew moment. I'm eager to read more about this political clash you're building up between the Free State filth and the Tal Shiar. I don't like the sound of a singularity chamber. Even with that brief dialogue exchange, you've surely created a sense of dread for what's to come.

    June 20, 2022