A world had collapsed around this man—a world that would never shout his praises again. The burned-out cities were still and dead, the twisted bodies and twisted souls giving him their last salute in death. And now he was alone, alone surrounded by memories, alone and waiting ...
n, sobbing now in fear, for the cover of the jungle. Into the screening shadow of the giant trees, and the sheltering blackness.
He stumbled and fell, was up and running again. And now his eyes could see in the dimmer moonlight that filtered through the branches overhead. Stirrings there, in the branches. Stirrings and voices in the night. Voices in and of the night. Whispers and shrieks of pain. Yes, he'd shown them pain, and now their tortured voices ran with him through the knee-deep, night-wet grass among the trees.
The night was hideous with noise. Red noises, an almost tangible din that he could nearly feel as well as he could see and hear it. And after a while his breath came raspingly, and there was a thumping sound that was the beating of his heart and the beating of the night.
And then, he could run no longer, and he clutched a tree to keep from falling, his arms trembling about it, and his face pressed against the impersonal roughness of the bark. There was no
Just, well... disappointing. Obviously, a variation on the Hitler theme - a little bit of trying to get into his head. But, it's just not that interesting to read about an insane man stranded on a planet who has no real obstacles to overcome.
The interplanetary dictator flees the wreckage of his empire and ends up on a beach at the edge of a Venusian jungle. He's still a meglomaniac and bugnuts crazy, on top of that, the ant-like kifs just won't follow orders.
A Joseph Conrad type sci-fi short story. I enjoyed it.
This is a good short story, worth downloading and reading. It leaves a fair amount unexplained - and rushes through some of the plot - but overall a good read.
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2013 SFR GALAXY AWARD WINNER
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