Namaskar. I'm updating my first published book, Dirge: A Short SF Story, at work on a new edition of the original while also busy on other book projects. So I thought to offer the pre-update version here as a set of twelve serialized installments while working on the new edition. This is the story of my iconic character, the Mirus, in his first published piece of short fiction, in fact rather late in his career as an adventurer. I hope you enjoy it.
Tf. Tk. Tts. ~ Troy David Loy
Tf. Tk. Tts. ~ Troy David Loy
It starts in a search for truth, and like any search for truth, it begins with a question, to me the first question:
“Who am I?”
It’s asked once again in a dream best forgotten that fiercely intrudes on my thoughts as I wake. Who am I? I don’t know. So not knowing, I use a two-syllable title instead of a real name so I don’t waste time worrying over it.
I’m the Mirus. I don’t know if I ever had a name, and I’ve no idea what I really am or if I was even born—you know, from a real mother, and not from a birthing tank as is common for my former masters, a human species calling themselves the Kai’Siri. I don’t know my past, other than my “service” records, I don’t know my species. I don’t know my world. I think it was one with humans on it, or something very much like them.
Humans are amazing. Sometimes I wish I was human, without this...thing in my brain, however useful it may be. That would be my ‘shard. That would be my weakness and my strength all in one. I’m a walking mass-extinction event. I’m a weapon of mass-destruction and weapon of absolute terror in one. I’m a million thermonuclear warheads rolled into a single sleek bipedal package. I’m a cosmic hit-man with a target roster of species and civilizations stretching back decades, all dead; all gone; defunct; nada. And I hate it. I hate all of it.
That’s the kind of power I had, the power to end it all on any world I set foot on. Under the Kai’Siri, I was both god of death and abject slave with one seriously mucked-up life. My reputation precedes me almost anywhere I go. Maybe I’m not human at all, but something else altogether. But what? More questions. Oh, no…
I suddenly recall the worst part of the dream. It feels like I’ve just been smacked in the gut by the hammer of…what’s his name…Some Norse god, Tor something-or-other, I think. I can’t put a name to the myth. I instantly regret recalling the dream as I dry heave…
Imagine something with the worst features of an earthworm and a badly decomposed double-ended piece of asparagus, covered, except for the ends, with what looks like bluish melted gauze. Add about twenty-seven other smaller worms here and there ending in eyes, sucking mouths, and other assorted unidentifiable orifices, the whole disgusting mess emitting chittering noises, whispering sighs, and slurping sounds, forming what could only be...words?...Words not spoken in this part of the universe for billions of years. The dream’s meaning is clear, in that weird way realization in dreams sometimes is to me. Clear and final: universal holy cleansing; cosmic genocide; salvation by mass extinction.
I call up a datafile with my ‘shard’s link to the ship’s library banks. Unhallowed sterilized moons of mighty Bruticus. I thought so. Suthidruu.