The Tale of Edun

by Eric Drewes

Once upon a time, there was an ancient race of beings that had reached a peak of social, political and technological evolution that made it almost impossible to deny they were anything but perfect.  Every single creature born into their society was born with a specialized talent and was to serve a special and important role.  It was to each one’s satisfaction to take their placee in the ecological machine, to them it was not a duty – no, it was the fulfillment of their intrinsic desire, instilled by nature and nurtured throughout their life.  There was never dissent at all, not because of draconian laws or self-policing, but because no one had what could even be remotely considered a quam with their vital and inborn role.  No one, that is, except Edun.  Despite the pleadings and brainwashing of the elder's they could not break the rebellious nature of the feisty fellow, who declared that he did what he wanted by his own volition, and not because anyone or anything told him to.  He also claimed that they would never have what he had, freedom, and for that, he'd always be the greater being, a king amongst them. 

Fearful that the words would inspire others to stand beside him, they gave Edun an ultimatum: take his place and perform his function, or face the most terrible, horrific fate in the universe. He was to be made an example of so that no others would follow in his footsteps. Edun laughed, and told his critics and detractors that no matter what they did, he'd never surrender and never be defeated because he wouldn't succumb to their will. 

With one final plea, they captured Edun and dragged him fighting tooth and nail to perform what they felt MUST be done.

In the lab, the first thing they did was sever his limbs from his body, cut his vocal cords, and delicately slice off his eye lids.  They then placed him in a small metal chamber, where they hooked numerous IV's to his twisted and tortured body, as he stared straight forward in abject terror, unable to scream.  They ran a chemical through him that would make the effects of aging impotent - his body would never die of natural causes.  Then they ran food and water tubes into his body so that he would be nurished.  Their technology allowed them to make this sustenance perpetually regenerating, so it would last indefinitely. At random intervals a speaker connected directly to his ear blasted feedback noise, they had calculated exactly how long it would take for him to adapt and cope to the blaring sound.  Once he adapted, it would stop.  Then they closed the pod he was strapped into and latched him down so he could not move in the slightest, except for his eyes.  Once their work was complete, they launched him into space

For billions of years Edun floated in the infinitness of space.  Around 3 billion years after the launching the sound stopped, and he so wished it back it took him another 3 billion to cope with the loss of the noise.  He always had a glimmer of hope that a meteorite would hit him and kill him and put him out of his misery, but no such luck.  In his mind he lived a million lifetimes of lonely madness, one would think you would get used to it but for Edun, there was no comfort.

He is still there, floating aimlessly through the void of space.  His only thought, his only consolation, is that someday he will find his way back to his homeworld so that he can declare himself a king to them once more.

The End