Thursday, May 7, 2015
Erratic jerks of a servitor-harness scribed the last characters upon the last scroll of e-vellum. The poll was completed, a labor that consumed the attention of a score of Monastery worlds. Everywhere, the signs of a battle of words had left the victors scarred and haggard. Ink stains spread like blood upon the exposed skin of the tech-thralls. Here a scalding inkpot had tipped, a legion of paint mixers burned alive; the scribes ten feet away had not paused in their writing. The call for another reckoning had come too soon after the last great push for them to reset the mile-long printing wheels, to harvest the skins of a continent's worth of space sheep. But Reecius, commander of the ITC fleet, must take the counsel of each of his uncounted generals; the scribe-servitors must labor until they fall. Those who had survived the conflict of quill and eye strain did not pause to bury their acres of dead; for they knew that Space Marshal Rawdogger was bloated with opinion.