Monday 18 July 2016

The Prince of Exiles, 32

In a stolen Sky-Chariot we take off from the oblique dock, rise above the factory ziggurat, watch as beneath us the soldiers breach the gates with a cannon shot, a beam of pinkish blue light that illuminates the massed ranks below, painting a thousand tiny faces with light in the fading night.

Svaathe operates dials and wheels; I watch the scene below through the porthole, hands limp at my side. Makara places a taloned hand on my shoulder.

"They're going to be slaughtered," I say.

"Most probably."

"We are not like them. We could turn it. Even now."

"You made a vow." She is disapproving, disappointed.

"They're going to die."

"They're dying free."

"They could live free."

"If they can't liberate themselves, they're not liberated. They see no worth in one of their oppressors freeing them."

I bristle. Makara, standing beside me now at the porthole, sighs. "They need to do this."