Monday, April 28, 2014

Old Soldier


The military of the Radiant Polity consisted of one soldier, and that man was named Hannibal Tecumseh Early. It was he who held the hyperspace nodes against the tide of 23 Enigma enraged hordes, saving the lives of thousand of moravec citizens; he who smashed the torture gardens of the Algosians and drove them back into the Expanse, and he who was vilified in the noosphere after his heavy handed tactics against the Aomist separatists of Wallach.

Early mostly appears as a steely-eyed, taciturn veteran of late middle years, but when necessary ten of thousands of versions of him were embodied in battleships and war fogs, spy drones and strategic minds. The Early war machine was manufactured to whatever size was needed, but at least one Early was kept in hibernation, as a reserve.

When the Radiant Polity began to disintegrate, Early's military might was turned against himself. Aomist hacks of Early fought to the death against secular ones. He performed interrogations on himself, knowing for certain at what point his resistance would break. In some habitats, memes and conditioned responses extracted from his mind were introduced into the psyches of the populace to ensure unwavering public support for the war effort.

When the Radiant Polity was gone, the Instrumentality of Aom thanked him for his service and requested his seppuku in recompense for his war crimes. Early did as ordered, a soldier to the last.

It's rumored that not all copies of Hannibal Early were destroyed. Balladeers claim that the old solider still hibersleeps in some remote location, his armor and weapons, arrayed around him, waiting.

8 comments:

Francis Lee said...

Old soldiers never die?

Mattias Darrow said...

Excellent!

Trey said...

@Fran - Yep.
@Mattias - Thanks!

seaofstarsrpg said...

Lovely. Some planets could view him as an Arthurian figure waiting to return, while for others he is a boogieman.

John Till said...

A name worthy of Heinlein.

Trey said...

Heh. That was sort of the vibe I was going for!

Trey said...

@seaofstarsrpg - Exactly!

Chris C. said...

Just imagining what I could accomplish with a few copies of this guy. The universe would be mine! Mwahahahaaaaah!