Friday, March 21, 2008


Loiosh gestured carefully with his right hand. Metal rods rose out of the meter-square table before him, seeming to evoke a surface by their slope. Before him, hundreds of feet away, a tower rose out of the earth in the same shape. Loiosh smiled tightly and began to remove the metal caps on the ends of his fingers.

"Very crude," a voice behind Loiosh declared. Loiosh gritted his teeth as the speaker continued, "In my city, it would take half the operations and a quarter the power to construct such a simple structure. Of course, it's quite impressive for out here in the boonies. Why, you've managed to do quite... respectable things, with your initially limited resources."

Loiosh was becoming increasingly sick of his whining and backhanded compliments. An envoy from the Homeland had every right to supervise and evaluate the progress of a newborn city, but a barrage of backhanded compliments was far from their job description. As the envoy continued talking, Loiosh finished taking off the metal control-tips on his fingers and turned to the envoy. His fists began to clench. It was about time, he had decided, to break discipline.

Then a scent wafted into Loiosh's nose - a scent somehow evoking a strange, peaceful nostalgia. Loiosh breathed deeply, feeling relaxation set in. He could resist - but he did not. The warmth of the sun warmed his skin, the air lifted a hundred pleasant scents into his nose, and a new lethargy filled Loiosh - not of despair, but of contentment.

Ignoring the now-flustered envoy, who had begun to complain of Loiosh's inattention, Loiosh turned to the drawing board on the ground beside him, beginning to lazily sketch out the next construction for the growing city. He didn't notice when the envoy disgruntledly left, so rapt was he in concentration his design.

Loiosh knew that his present, spontaneous contentment wouldn't last. And when it did, he wanted to have this design finished.

After all, how could he greet the envoy again without a proper death chamber to house him in?