Ascension: From a Distance

The cardinal watched from a high tower, as twin suns set over his see. Within the walled city, tiny figures moved across the green spaces, like particles in Brownian motion. Without, the sterile basalt plain stretched to the rim of the world.

“It is done,” said the provost.

“The necessary dispatch has been transmitted?”

“Yes, Your Eminence. USNE and Synod craft destroyed by rebel forces using unknown weapon technology; immediate military assistance required.”

The cardinal nodded. “That is good. At last we shall be free of this pestilence.”


“You have concerns?” The cardinal turned to stare at him. “Speak them.”

“Your Eminence…what if they do not believe us?”

The cardinal smiled. “It is of no consequence, Frey. If they do then they will send a force to crush these rebels once and for all. If not, they will do likewise, in apprehension of the weapons we could bring to bear against them. Fear guarantees the outcome in either case.”

“I see that it is so, Cardinal.”

The suns dipped lower.

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