Folly ...

This tale takes place in the most ancient of times...long before our galaxy was born...

It had been a horrendous war, the fight only lasting 40 days but the destruction had been sheer insanity...

Countries fought against neighbors, race against race - it didn’t matter if you once were friends or even family, now, for this time, you were ‘the enemy’ thus deserved to be killed... and as we all believed this, then it was best if I killed you before you did me...

No one escaped the slaughter - not women or children, not animals or babies...even the seas boiled with our devastating weapons ...

Horrible machines that were once outlawed and thought to be dismantled, now emerged from their hidden dungeons to spew Death far too easily... and when resistance was met, then even more insidious violence was unleashed...

And when we thought it could not get any worse, they brought out ‘the world wreckers’ - weapons so horrible that they would sink whole continents at once...

They said it was so the war would stop... it was meant to be a show of force, so overwhelming that the enemy would surrender... so we could win...

But all it did was to anger the very Earth we lived on... and now She rebelled at our infantile idiocies...and She took action...

As continents got destroyed, so the seas surged in, erupting in a violent explosion of gasses so hot that the very land melted... The very planet shook...and shook again... a sound of deep pain, and we echoed it with our own.

All the land masses became unstable, and in a final upheaval the planet shattered...

In one bright flash it released all the Life it held in each molecule that it once cherished...

The blast was beyond what Creation could sustain...the very fabric of the Universe was torn aside...and life as we once knew ended...

.... ... ...

How do I know this...?

Because I am piloting one of the few crafts that was launched mere hours before it all ended...

One of the ‘special survivor crafts’ built to safeguard our esteemed leaders [and their special friends...]

And as we hurtled as far and fast as possible, we all saw what our folly had accomplished... everything ... everything we once knew - loved and hated - all, all destroyed beyond redemption...

Our lonely crafts sped away even as the fabric of the universe tore; surging forward, tumbling into the great Unknown...the unmapped Beyond...

I looked at my team, that special crew selected to keep our esteemed leaders safe... we all had horror in our eyes...

And now a well known voice spoke throughout the ship “ My fellow survivors... with deep gratitude I greet you, for once again you have proven your loyalty to our Empire. In doing your duty, you have proven your allegiance to our Kingdom, and to me...

Your devotion will not be unrewarded, and know that no matter where we land, you shall be honored first amongst the Reign... You will be given lands and servants so your wealth may come easy... this I promise you as your leader.

What happened was an unfortunate accident...our enemy was meant to capitulate, to bow down to our simple economic demands, to submit to our superiority... yet too foolish to understand even such a simple request.

We never desired to destroy the planet... in fact, it is their fault for pushing us into this untenable situation... if they’d only listened, and did what we told them to do...

... ... ...

If he continued in his self-serving speech I could not tell you... I looked at my crew, the shock on their faces as the realization of what had happened finally sank in - not what we’d been told...It was not ‘them’ that attacked us, but we who triggered it all... guilt, shame, fear... all cursed through us...

I knew a sickness was about to take root in our souls...I could not - would not - stand aside and be idle no more

The luxury cabins had been designed with their own life-support systems, so that in an emergency they could be launched separate from the rest of the craft...

They had water, air, and rations for one week - usually long enough for a rescue craft to save them... if there was one to seek them...

The eject button was within easy reach... my hand moved as if guided by the Gods... or maybe by the ghosts of those who fell ... I don’t know... but I’ll not let our future be ruled by such a past ...

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