Friday Flash Fiction: The Heart of Liberty

Another old one (late 2006) as I’m currently hosting a “throat infection party”, and some of the revellers are refusing to leave.

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The Heart of Liberty

At the heart of the singularity we found an incomprehensibly old being, weighed heavy with wisdom, experience, and raw uninhibited power.

It offered to grant us one wish. Being failed revolutionaries and poets fleeing the persecution of our government and its empire, our common desire was clear. We wished for freedom.

“You wish freedom for all?” asked the genie of the singularity, knowing our minds and hearts. “Liberté, égalité, fraternité?”

“We wish for universal emancipation,” we replied. “For the liberation of all sapients from the meanest to the greatest.”

“As you will,” it said, and snapped what passed for fingers. “It is done.”

Thanking this godlike being for its generosity, we retreated back to our stolen ship and left behind that vortex of time and space. We set our course for human civilization, prepared to be greeted as saviours, as liberators.

Instead we were met by ruin: planets awash in fire and blood, orbited by sad clusters of wreckage where once proud stations flew. Formless beasts roamed the newly shifting continents, devouring the helpless victims of this sudden apocalypse.

From the survivors we learned of still greater and more terrible things that stalked space and planet alike. “The Elder Gods!” the terrified men and women cried. “The Dark Denizens! Predators of the Astral Planes! The Old Evils are released upon mankind!”

We fled our civilization once more and returned to the singularity, hoping to appeal to the demigod that had released these horrors. But we could no longer navigate our way to its heart. It was too late. Our choice had been made; the die had been cast.

Liberty and freedom for all.

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