Bewildering Stories

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I Know You Can Hear Me

by Thomas D. Reynolds

You were always
the bravest, the best,
of all the pilots
at the academy.

A soul of iron
and a head for stars
beyond the reach
of your small desert planet.

Somehow you chose me
as friend and confidante,
one who could never lead,
always a step behind.

In mock battles
above the station,
our camaraderie grew
so that our minds were one.

Now on the eve
of our first real battle,
with you leading
the contingent of fighters,

I speak to you
as a whisper in your mind,
with final thoughts
only you can discern.
  My whole life,
my hardship-filled childhood
on Arakeen, our friendship,
has been a fabrication.

An agent of your enemy,
I created this persona
to infiltrate your ranks
and lead you into oblivion.

Mercifully, you chose me
as your personal lackey
to cement your superiority
with my inferior devotion.

All of your ships,
excluding mine, of course,
are equipped with devices
to detonate in ten seconds.

So there is no point
in warning the others,
other than to evoke terror
prior to disintegration.

If I am honest,
you were good company,
as worthy as my friends
you were set to destroy.

Copyright © 2005 by Thomas D. Reynolds

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