@ 27.105 MHz: Stellarings; Changing Of The Guard Above The Detention Facility

[to Patriciajj, in gratitude for her poems;

and intended for her amusement]


I am a veteran of several skirmishes,
so let me acquaint you with the drill.
While we enlisted wait here in our own furnished clubhouse,
the officers meet meet together to exchange
the necessary protocols and reports;
the keycodes to all of the automated locks
(and that is an extensive system in and of itself),
and then the routine testing of the master system;
followed by activation of all the subservient systems;
and a full confirmation of the readiness of the redundancies.
Once that has been done, the officers will perform
a brief, and ancient, ceremony to remind us all
of the purpose of this camp, the menaces underguard,
and the chaos that must never, ever escape.
Then my fleet will depart, and yours will remain,
until the officers and enlisted of another people
relieve yours of the duty of vigilance, maintenance,
and assurance of the peace that the stellar nations
have achieved, and protect in its most delicate balance.
The effort to confine, and yet maintain, the lives of these
heinous war criminals, first, and their multitudes of
descendents may seem an obviously extraneous expense
of time, wealth, and personnel: I, myself, were it left to me,
would have wiped them off the face of the planet with
a single blast. But talk like that, if an officer overhears,
is reprimandable---loss of rank, pay, and (if applicable)
choice of homeside duty. The ethics of the civilian management
demand our compliance; and it is written into the treaty,
which has been recorded on the most expensive parchment
(which does not last as long as stone,
but longer than good intentions).
This minor star is one of the few with a full, planetary
construct serving as a functional penitentiary.
The inmates, uncivilized aliens each and every one,
spend most of their timing reproducing their kind;
then thieving from, raping, and murdering each other.
Sometimes, they see one of the observation drones
or measuring devices and imagine an impending invation;
but the occupying staff never visit the surface for any reason---
none of us wants to be exposed to the contagion
of their amorality and multiplicative hatreds,
selfish and self perpetuating. The arrogance of the
original inmates is legendary, as you may know if
you read much: even in their abject defeat,
and defiant lack of remorse they conceived a myth---
handed down to their spawn, from to another generation---
that they originated on this mediocre world;
that is theirs, and not one of the annexes of ours, or yours
(I forget now who actually first colonized this lackluster world).
Not even a transmission may escape from that place, those aliens:
the complex of restrictive fields, beyond any detection of which
they foolishly believe themselves capable, ensures the prevention
of this, and other forms of corruption. This is full and complete
proscription---nothing less is acceptable to all of our peoples.
We may disagree among ourselves; castigate our elected officials,
while they complain to visiting ambassadors about imagined slights.
But no one dissents from admitting the necessity of this place,
of this work, of this daily and hour drill of deterence because
we are all determined that this shall never happen among us;
the Human Race, as they style themselves, will never race
among us for the conquest of which they cannot keep from dreaming..



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patriciajj's picture

You have a great gift for

You have a great gift for laying compelling groundwork for surprising twists that serve as thought-provoking cautionary tales while being delightfully whimsical.


Enjoyed the ride! Thank you so much. 

Starward's picture

And thank you for the read. 

And thank you for the read.  I had so much fun writing this, and I wanted to share the fun with you, and with other readers, too.  I could never have treated this same subject in prose---too much exposition---but poetry seems to streamline it.  Thanks again for the comment.


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