Author : Steve Smith, Staff Writer

When I came to your world, when I stumbled into your city on the edge of the desert, you paid me no mind.

Your guards bullied me like any other vagabond in the streets, laughing as they tripped me, pounded their chests in fits of bravado.

Your peasants took pity on me, a weary traveler, fed me, gave me water. They knew what it was like to have nothing, and they happily shared what little they had.

When I showed them how to pull water from the ground, when I showed the artisans how to make steel that would never dull, how to fashion glass from the sand, you took notice.

When I talked to them about equality, and rights, and justice, they took turns hiding me while your soldiers searched their homes. They took the beatings without giving up my name, without giving up my whereabouts.

Without giving up.

When I ย turned the coal from their kilns and forges into the rarest of diamonds, they fell to their knees and prayed to me.

When I refused to do the same for you, you broke my bones, lashed me to a horse and sent us off into the blowing sand in search of the horizon, and certain death.

That would have been the end of any mortal man.

But only a fool would have mistaken me for a mortal man.

I don’t know how long the beast dragged my unconscious body into the desert before it collapsed. I don’t know how much longer before I awoke.

But I do know that I found your puny little planet in an endless void, do you not think I will find you again in this tiny patch of sand?

Do you believe that one who can summon water from the earth itself, and squeeze dust into diamonds, would struggle with mending this broken suit of flesh and bone?

You will know me when I come for you, astride the noble beast you sacrificed so cruelly. We’ll rise, out of the very sand you thought would protect you from me, to ride through to the heart of your city. You’ll feel the fury rise from the fire I’ve lit in the hearts and minds of your people with my ideas, flames that you’ve been fanning with your abuses and self indulgent lust for power. That inferno will consume you in the ivory towers in which you cower.

I’m going to raze your palaces to the ground and let your peasants pick your carcass clean.

I’ve met you on every world, and in every city, and I’ve never once let you remain.

What makes you think you’re any different?

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