Monday, July 17, 2023

Microstory 1931: Great Limerick’s Fists

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Leonard: Hey. Is someone over there? [...] I heard you moving around. It sounds like a very faint stringed musical instrument, or a chirp. Are you a cricket? [...] Oh, now you’re being all quiet, expecting me to think that I was just imagining things. I’ve been in here for a few hours, I’ve not started hallucinating quite yet. I am hungry, though. Are you hungry? Hey, if you want to reply, I heard the chirping better from this corner where the sink drains into the floor. Hey. Hey. I put my mouth a little closer, can you hear me now? Can you hear me now? Oh, you wouldn’t get the joke. They don’t have commercials in your home universe. They do in your universe of origin, but not where you’re probably from. I didn’t tell them your species originated in a different place than they live now. Or they may know now. Is there a camera in your cell? I looked all around, no cameras on this side. But I can’t see through the wall. Can Ochivari see through walls? Hey. Hey. Why won’t you answer me? It’s the human you talked to the other day. I’m Leonard, remember? I’m from a separate universe. It doesn’t have a name, though, like Salmonverse, or...I don’t know the one you were living in before you came here. Does it have a name? Hey. Hey.
Ochivar: Great Limerick’s Fists! Please stop blabbering on! We can talk if you just tone it down a little. You don’t have to be so...enthusiastic.
Leonard: That’s the second time you’ve used that word. What, or who, is Limerick?
Ochivar: He is the reason we can cross universes. He is our ancestor.
Leonard: I see. From what I understand, if you want to do that, you need at least one other Ochivar, but only one of you will survive. The other will explode.
Ochivar: They don’t explode. They become trapped in the void, and yes, they die.
Leonard: Sounds risky. Why would anyone bother trying?
Ochivar: You, who does not know what it is like to be called to service. You would not understand why we do what we do. You value life above all, regardless of what that life is doing to the world that it is on. You waste, you destroy, you kill, you take, you ruin. We are the ones who stop you. I am but the vanguard. More will come, and doom these people to the hell where they belong. And then, when it’s over, they’ll move on to another. Perhaps your world will be next.
Leonard: You know, there are Ochivari out there who do not feel the same as you.
Ochivar: The Betrayers. They believe as we do, but they put too much effort into a fruitless endeavor. They think they can help the peoples of the multiverse repair their worlds. But we know better. We know that there is no hope for your kind. But we are not cruel, and we are not unjust. We do not kill. We let you live your lives. You just won’t have any more children. That is a gift we are not required to give. Consider yourselves lucky. I know I would if I were you.
Leonard: If your species evolved to have the family unit, you may consider what you do to the populations of the worlds you invade more cruel than you do now. Humans need to care for others, and they need to know that they’ll go on after they die. My question to you is, why? You spend so much time on this, is there no room for joy for an Ochivar?
Ochivar: Joy is for the weak. You’ll see. [...] You’ll see.

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