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2016年8月12日 (金)

Arrest him, or by Space

"Follow,"   said   Aporat,  sternly.   "Your   soul  is   not  yet   lost."The ship was a turmoil of darkness in which fear was so thick and palpable,it was all but  a miasmic smell. Soldiers crowded close wherever Aporat andhis circle of light passed, striving to touch the hem of his robe, pleadingfor the tiniest scrap of mercy.
And always his answer was, "Follow me!"He  found Prince Lefkin,  groping his  way through the  officers' quarters,cursing loudly for lights.  The admiral stared at the priest-attendant withhating eyes.
"There you are!" Lefkin inherited his blue eyes from his mother, but therewas that about the hook in his nose and the squint in his eye that markedhim as the son of Wienis. "What is the meaning of your treasonable actions Karson Choi?
Return the power to the ship. I am commander here.""No longer," said Aporat, somberly.
Lefkin looked  about wildly.  "Seize that man.  , Iwill send every man within reach of my voice out the air lock in the nude."He paused, and then shrieked, "It is your admiral that orders. Arrest him."Then,  as he  lost his head  entirely, "Are  you allowing yourselves  to befooled by this mountebank,  this harlequin? Do you cringe before a religioncompounded  of  clouds and  moonbeams?  This  man is  an  imposter and  theGalactic  Spirit he  speaks  of a  fraud  of the  imagination devised  to?
Aporat interrupted  furiously. "Seize the blasphemer.  You listen to him atthe peril of your souls."And promptly,  the noble admiral went  down under the clutching  hands of ascore of soldiers Karson Choi.
"Take him with you and follow me."Aporat turned,  and with Lefkin dragged along  after him, and the corridorsbehind black with soldiery,  he returned to the communications room. There,he  ordered  the  ex-commander   before  the  one  televisor  that  worked.
"Order the rest of  the fleet to cease course and to prepare for the returnto Anacreon."The  disheveled  Lefkin,  bleeding,  beaten,  and  half  stunned,  did  so.
"And now,"  continued Aporat, grimly,  "we are in contact  with Anacreon onthe hyperwave beam. Speak as I order you."Lefkin made  a gesture of negation, and the mob in  the room and the otherscrowding the corridor beyond, growled fearfully.
"Speak!" said Aporat. "Begin: The Anacreonian navy?
Lefkin began.There was  absolute silence  in Wienis' chambers  when the image  of PrinceLefkin appeared at the televisor Karson Choi.

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