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Wednesday 08 October 2008

Proclamations of the Red Queen

30th June 2008

Fiction: Reefs of Oceania

Posted by: Craig Young

May 15, Year of Our Lord 2196:

Saint: Anthony Dahl Personal Log:

At long last, our Theocracy of Redeemed America starship  Crusader is drawing closer to our new home, which Saint: Doctor Carlos has christened Oceania. Its primary, AUCHE- 03116BV, is almost an exact duplicate of our own Sun, and Oceania itself has landmasses in roughly the same configuration as the Damned Earth itself, which we left when our Hallowed Theocracy was overthrown almost two centuries ago.

[There are things that I don’t dare write in the log. Bram. It’s forbidden even to speak his name. He was my lover before Prophet Avram Carlos began to suspect and ordered his Visitation. But Bram stayed loyal and did not betray me, so he was vacced. Yahvei, I don’t even know if there are or were any other samesexers onboard this vessel.

And this Oceania, so much like our old 21c Earth, it aches. Humanoid ‘aliens’ (except it is we who are truly the aliens on their world). No destructive new pathogens. Their females have conscious control over their own fertility, so reproductive freedom is not an issue here. None of the radio, television or comp-mediated communication networks here refer to ‘homosexuals’ either. Damn it, no, I will not use their infernal term sodomis to describe myself. I will not.)

At last, landfall on a new and virgin world.

[Appropriate metaphor, that. And the Crusader could not remotely be called virginal itself, when it is more like a withered elder. Or one of the Prophets. Our hydroponic crops are failing, and we ration food and medical supplies for the Prophets and Soldiers of Christ, so the maternal and infant mortality rate is high. Deck XXXIV is still sterile after the meteor impact three years ago. Ah, Oceania. We can turn you into a hades like this wretched hellship if you let us].

Oceania has two natural satellites, which are named something like Solace and Comfort. There’s an orbital space colony visible as we draw closer.

[Damn it, no weapons visible either. Nothing. Why am I just passively awaiting all this? If I had any guts at all, I’d blow this damned hulk to shreds if I could get anywhere near the control deck. ]

We are approaching rendezvous. This is a great event, first contact with life so similar to our own.

[However, still alien, and so the Prophets intend to use the Theomarines to make a surgical strike, decapitate their political leadership and use their shuttlecraft to invade the world below us.]

I see Theosargeant Abraz as he passes me.

[Bram’s murderer. He makes a cutting motion with his hand, which means that I probably die after Crusader secures this world. I don’t care. I’d rather vac this whole cabin rather than treat any of the Prophets or their damned butchers, so help me].

Contact. Our hosts come forward, their arms outstretched.

[Huh? The Theos are buckling, faceplates full of blood and gore?! But, there’s no excessive rad, no native pathogens, no hard psi. I see Abraz turn and run, as the death sears his ranks. Nearly here. And so are those obese, porcine, senile Prophets. He tears off his faceplate, and I can see he’s bleeding from his ears, nostrils and mouth. He takes aim as I smash the glass on the decon/vac panel, resolving to take him and as many of those other bastards as I can manage before he shoots me. His skin begins to flake, his hair turns grey and then falls away, he starts to haemorrhage heavily from his orifices. And then, suddenly, he gasps as his hand jerks upwards, and he fires into the ceiling. Goodbye, murderer.]

And at last, I can talk aloud about what I have witnessed. Even if I die now, it’ll be worth it. This paradise is safe from those who wanted to rape it. But I don’t. Because right then, a cluster of naked willowy males surround me, carressing me, unbuckling my suitpants and easing off my tunic, kissing, touching and exploring my body. I begin to cry as I lose the last of my clothes, and step forward into my new life. I tear the hated crux from my neck, and throw it into the waster. I am not alone, either. There are female Oceanians, and they lead Andra from the scullery, and aged Marthi from the ships archives, and other males, who lead Garic from engineering. All as naked and newborn as I am.

Oceania: Nilam 21, Year 8046:

It’s been years since that last entry. I can add this last codicil. On this world, telepath and samesexer genes are colocated, and my new friends and lovers are called the Reefs. Ironically, though, it wasn’t anything they, or their world, did that routed the Crusader’s mercenary hordes. It was us. It turned out that there was a mutant microspore onboard the hellship that turned toxic when we made worldfall. And the Reefs later told me that samesexer human genes conferred immunity.

As I lie here, amidst the warmth of my lovers bodies, I am one and at peace. Oceania, you have given me life and love, and I will always love you and your precious people until the day I die.

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