Speak to me only in Science Fiction

“We mean you no harm.”

“I usually assume men walking around with lasers just might mean harm.”

The enforcer reports do not mention eyes, nor a lack thereof. Of course, the reports seldom get past the ‘white-hot blazing maimery’ spewed from the amorph’s plasma cannon. After telling that part my witnesses just curl up and whimper.

You’re reminding me that once I was a woman and knew love; that eyes do more than see and I have none to do it for me.

You sleep. I watch.

“I mean I want both of us to take the Long Sleep. And don’t call him ‘that creature’; his name is Petronius.”

“Sleep. Another example of humans being weak and inefficient. Their bodies must shut down for eight hours every single day, or they don’t work properly. Please be six am. Please be six am.” [It’s 3:46 am]

“Look at you,” he said finally. “I say this in no spirit of contempt, but look at you! The material you are made of is soft and flabby, lacking endurance and strength, depending for energy upon the inefficient oxidation of organic material - like that.”

“Remember, we’re like iron. They’re glass. Be careful, you can shatter them without meaning to.”

“By the Blue Light of Seraph, Cor! It’s ideas that make this great. If we didn’t put anything else in the issue, ‘Pride of Iron’ is basked on spectro results that aren’t even in print yet.”

By the golden egg of Faranth,
By the Weyrwoman, wise and true,
Breed a flight of bronze and brown wings,
Breed a flight of green and blue.

Jeff’s face was almost as red as his wings. “What the devil do you think you are doing?”

“Orange wings!” I yelled. “Keep clear!”

A few years into the Fourth Shutdown, the power finally flickered out in Metropolis. The soaring planes were long since grounded, but most of the folks got out on powerful locomotives. Before long, the undergrowth bounded over the tallest buildings. Metropolis is history.

Just a couple interstate border checks down the rising coast-line, Gotham City still hung on, no doubt due to greater experience with villains who were also buffoons. But the big clown shoe would drop on them soon, and who then would salvage Liberty’s torch from the waxing deeps and light it anew?

Smallville seems even smaller these days, despite its growing political power. Ever since the solar flare wiped out the remains of the power grid, there hasn’t been much radio - and very little of that in English. The front page of The News Outlet still features the Homecoming Queen, prize bulls and blue-ribbon pies; while hardly anyone notices the dust depth, locust warnings and plague counts on the other page anymore. The New Committees of Correspondence endlessly discuss revising the Electoral College, but no one really believes the National Emergency will be suspended to allow citizens to travel to their birthplaces for the election.

“All governments suffer a recurring problem: Power attracts pathological personalities. It is not that power corrupts but that it is magnetic to the corruptible.”

The crisis has resolved itself: a weak general was no threat to the Foundation and the Emperor would not have tolerated a strong general lest he seize the throne. So it is only the combination of strong Emperor and strong general that can harm the Foundation; for a strong Emperor cannot be dethroned easily, and a strong general is forced to turn outwards, past the frontiers.

“I don’t wear armor. I don’t carry weapons. An emperor needs only his imagination.”