I’d like to give a hat tip to both @LEDFlashing and @TaoAdear on Twitter for the ideas that went into this story’s title, the term used for the spacefleets of the genocidal Dinathog-Trulg species of my Gods of Terra space-opera setting. As a species bent on universal salvation from suffering at all costs, and motivated by love, making them the anti-Daleks, they are particularly dangerous and make great villains for short pieces like this one. Check out the updated version of this and other stories in my second e-book, Echoes of Forsaken Galaxies, on Amazon for Kindle! ~Troythulu
I am Priest Acolyte Ephel***rhaa***d. I stand before the Holiest of the 268 billionth Squorium, bowing low, sensor limbs averted, speech limbs silent, manipulatory limbs still.
I’ve been honored to receive the Holiest’s blessing to conduct the consecration ceremony for a newly discovered species in the Western spiral arm of a recently surveyed galaxy. They are suffering, this new species, like all life in this universe of terrible and horrific evil. We must rescue them from their suffering.
Once I receive sacrament, I rise and ask permission to speak. It is granted. “O, Holiest,” I say, in my species’ characteristic speech of sound and olfactory cues, “The species we are to meet knows not of us. Our technology would surely overwhelm them, but they will be bemused and frightened for as they seem strange to us, so must we to them. Is there not a way to deliver them from evil without their knowing?”
“Young Priest Acolyte,” The Holiest begins, “Our race has for billions of cycles scoured the universe for species to succor with the mercy of our gods. They know it not, but by their very existence they cry out for salvation, for deliverance from evil and suffering. Fear not for their own fear, for better things are in store for them when our job is done. Now, go in peace, and in love, for all life. Prepare yourself. Even now, our ships emerge from the Maelstrom. We must do our holy duty in this star system, and to do our duty effectively, they must know of us. Now go.”
I bow once more and hurry to my post, eager to do the work of the gods as commanded in our scripture all these eons of wandering the universe. To love all life as though our own. And we shall. My hearts swell with joy as we approach the new world. They’ve barely discovered space travel. More of our ships emerge from the Maelstrom, moving into position for the consecration of this wonderful new species. Just look at them down below, I muse as I see them looking skyward at our ships in orbit, such amazing, beautiful beings. All is ready. I stand at the altar as the communication channels are opened to the people below. This world is suffering, in the terrible pain of a universe gone wrong. The choir music begins, the lights brighten, and I clear my throats as I steel myself to conduct the Rite.
The Last Rite. The ships’ weapons systems awaken to consecrate the planet below.
My people can free them from misery, rescue them from terrible pain. We can help where before there was no help, we shall send them to the land of our gods. We shall send them to paradise.
One orbital cannon blast at a time.