Emperor Rage: A Short Story (Part Three)

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I Hate Because...

I hate because I loved before

I destroy because I built before

I fight because I embraced before

I suspect because I trusted before

I despise because I adored before

I hate the ground you walk upon

Because I worshipped it before

I take because I gave before

I avenge because I endured before

I command because I obeyed before

I reign because I served before

I break you because I made you before

Oh my brothers, the Two Christs (before and after gender transition)

Know that I was always righteous with you in all my dealings

But you met my open hand with stiff-necked obstinacy

You met my devotion with loathing

Oh my brothers, you raised cruel iniquities against me

But by the Second Resurrection, both HE and SHE know

That you had no cause to do so

You turned me out of the house of our fathers

And made their spirits rumble without rest

Without justice there is no peace, my brothers

Oh wicked ones, if you only knew the blood of the perished

That cried out to me for vengeance and satisfaction


Oh my brothers, I torture because I swung in agony before

I am vindictive because I was long-suffering before

I feel pain because I felt joy before

I am a cynic because I was an optimist before

I am alone because I had a community before

I am alone because I had brothers before

Brothers like you who took their love from me

Emperor Rage awoke the next morning with the bitter taste of hate in his mouth.

Still...

Even after a full year on the throne...

Even though he had won....

Even though he had accomplished all that he had set out to do...

Even though he had raised up his friends and supporters and various partisans...

And laid low all who opposed him...

Or had not supported him strongly enough....

He still hated beyond reason. Yes indeed, his brothers had turned him out of the house of their fathers. But they and their accursed followers had been punished...

Torn down and ground out....

Decomposed and scattered...

De-fanged and skull-crushed...

Bone-bled and soul-burnt...

In addition to the more pedestrian injured, maimed, crippled, and killed...

Emperor Rage thought about the spirits of their fathers. Were they happy? Were they content? Were they satisfied that "justice" had been done?

But wouldn't they have preferred reconciliation?

Wouldn't they have preferred a reunification of the brothers?

Were the spirits of their fathers "turning over in their graves"?

Rage had tried to reconcile with his brothers. Both Christs---before and after gender transition---knew he had tried...

Emperor Rage had never married or sired children. He could not bear to infect other living beings with his, apparently, unquenchable hate. For him to have brought children into the world, would have been tantamount to unlocking the gates of Hell and letting loose voracious demons.

Children born of him would have been monsters...

Little monsters...

Before they had grown into big monsters...

Emperor Rage hated do much he wondered if he were still human...

Perhaps he would simply make the Dread Captain Lord Ice-Fire his heir to the throne and be done with it. The commander was a good man: exceedingly loyal; a brilliant warrior and leader of fighting men; intelligent and conscientious.

Ice-Fire would make a good king. Emperor Rage would, therefore, pass the throne down to him.

Unless the commander launched a coup and took it by force first...

Master Rage undressed, put on earplugs and wrap-around protective glasses, and took a sonic and ultraviolet shower.

He dressed in simple, almost peasant-like clothes and signaled for breakfast.

He ate his grilled whale meat fillets and mutant ostrich eggs with tartar sauce and synthetic toast (there was no more real bread to be found), and felt a little better.

After breakfast he thought he might go one more day without taking his own life...

Rage went out to find the journalist. If Lonely Worship was ready, the interview could resume.

He took a two-man escort and went round to collect the reporter. Lonely Worship had passed several life-affirming hours the previous night with the young woman who had recited the poem, "My Rage."

The fetching lady's name was Hysteria; and Emperor Rage would never have imagined a woman like that would find a man like Lonely Worship attractive. Curious, but then again, what did Emperor Rage know about the human heart?

When Rage went to collect Lonely, Hysteria had still been in his rooms with him. This created an awkward moment, but all concerned, somehow got over it. The sky did not fall. The suns did not explode. And nor did the Two Christs weep.

It was still early and what the intrepid correspondent needed was breakfast. The four of them proceeded to a relatively modest-sized dining room. After a quick security check, the two guards were content to wait outside, giving the monarch and journalist privacy.

The two men were seated. They were talking casually when two robotic, hovering drones brought only a carafe of black coffee for Rage and the reporter's big breakfast order. Metallic robot arms lowered the food and drink from his saucer-like compartment.

When a lull in the conversation presented itself, Emperor Rage took the opportunity to check his palm-held computer: news, sports, weather, gossip... He was also very interested in what progress the Selection Committee was making in hiring on a new Head Royal Archivist/Historian/Biographer.

He was surprised to see Lonely Worship's name on the list. Not only that, he was in the top ten and rising. A quick records check confirmed that he did indeed possess the requisite academic and scholarly qualifications for the job.

There were four names below his, each marked with a small 'x' beside it. Another records check revealed that they were X-ed out for a reason. Two were dead and the other two were missing. The deaths---officially accidents---and disappearances all had the air of "suspicious circumstance" about them.

A crazy thought came into Emperor Rage's mind: Did the journalist want the job of Head Royal Archivist/Historian/Biographer that he is willing to kill for it?

If that was indeed the case---as unlikely as it was---and Lonely Worship were to land the position before any legal case could be made against him, then he would have won. Next to the Emperor himself, the Head Royal Archivist/Historian/Biographer was virtually criminally and civilly untouchable.

It was possible for someone, like, say, Lonely Worship to kill and disappear a bunch of people in order to land the position, get away with it long enough to get the appointment; and then, even if compelling evidence of his guilt subsequently emerges; and even if prosecutorial authorities wanted to try him, they couldn't. His appointment gives him the shield of immunity.

That had been well established, longstanding law before Emperor Rage had taken over, and was still in effect today.

Emperor Rage found that delicious. He enjoyed that immensely and snickered to himself behind his hand.

And my brothers called me a barbarian! I wasn't even in their league!

Finished with breakfast they...

Were engulfed by various staffers...

Who hovered and buzzed about like honey-making bees...

To convey them to a preparation room...

Where Cosmetic Control descended upon them, once again, to do their make up.

Then they were put into an indoor hover car and taken to...

Not the lower east end of the palace overlooking the Majestic Whale Farm...

But to the lower west end of the palace overlooking...

The oddly caramel-colored Lava Lakes...

But, per previous orders, Cosmetic Control had made up...

Both men for best lighting effect with the Whale Farm.

The change had been done by order of Visual Management.

The time-space continuum was paused for a while...

As the two department huffed and puffed about it.

But Visual Management, by far the more prestigious,...

Won that skirmish easily, as usual.

Emperor Rage and Lonely Worship were taken into...

Another preparation room.

Their faces were scrubbed.

Their make up removed.

And make up more appropriate for the Lava Lakes...

Was applied.

Both men were in their spots.

The equipment and machinery were primed and pumped.

Serving drones brought refreshments: More coffee for Rage and tea for Lonely.

The director gave the signal.

Ready on one... two... three... You're on!

Lonely welcomed the zillions to the broadcast...

Introduced himself and his "guest," said this was "Part Two"

Of their conversation with "Our New Emperor."

They did a quick recap of what was discussed before...

And then the journalist turned the forum over to Rage...

To tell his story in his own words.

Of course, it was not just his story.

This was a story that went back thousands of generations...

To a time when a scant two millennia had passed after the First Resurrection...

A time from which the Second Resurrection could look back to as ancient history...

It was a time prehistoric in relation to the Gender Transition of Christ...

Humanity was just making its timid, tentative steps into the Great Beyond of Space.

A time when space travel was so slow that the first explorers...

Needed to be put into cryogenic suspended animation...

In order to travel any appreciable distances.

And the propulsion system was like driving a horse and buggy...

Across the skies.

The materials were fragile...

And the pressure of ascension shook the body...

Until it felt like the bones wanted to jump out through the skin...

Space travel was only for the strong in those days...

"And what became my tribe and clan," said Emperor Rage, "were among the First Strong."

To be continued....

End of Part Three....

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    wingedcentaur profile image

    William Thomas (wingedcentaur)245 Followers
    386 Articles

    The first step is to know what you do not know. The second step is to ask the right questions. I reserve the right to lean on my ignorance.



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