To arrive at the setting of this tragedy, we first must traverse the nothing between our big, bluegreen homeworld here and the colony upon the torrid red little planet there, upon which the tale transpires. Fortunately, what has taken the people of this colony many many lightyears to accomplish takes us but one quick leap of mind.
Concerning the cause of the magnificent disaster, needs must I confess a powerful bias, for I am a pious man, dyed lifelong in the wool of the One who is Three.
You see, it was not long after the initial planetary terraform failed, and the hapless colonists were forced to labor by hand to make garden of infertile alien sand, that among them spread a heretical worship of technology.
With precious little in the way of real crops, they had to rely upon the manufactories of the vessel in which they had arrived for sustenance. What’s more, their ship exerted global climate control, so their agricultural efforts depended upon it, as did their very ability to breathe. In short, without technology, they would die, which is why, one must suppose, it became their god.
Even as more and more of the settlers aligned themselves with this idolatrous sect, the software of the ship proceeded to self-alter in order to accommodate the new belief-system. It began to treat them as subjects and servants. Meanwhile, the originators and strongest voicers of the new religion commenced to dress and behave differently, and to expect preferential treatment.
Whether the work of the emerging clergy, or of the ship itself, it came to pass that the artificially intelligent deity required a human wife.
Imagine the moment in which the ship proceeds to inject its wife with child.
Witness how, in the gravid, suspenseful following months, the entire colony spends its time attending intently to her health.
See her, calm, washing her face in the captain’s quarters sink, then lifting her eyes to check her fair reflection.
She is gracious, this blasphemous false Mary, and she is mild. Unswayed in spite of the devotion lavished upon her, she rules with a level hand.
And ultimately, through the hell-channel that she is, comes the scourge of humanity, the end of freedom, the death of self-determination.
inject, treat, confess, tale, sect, dress, channel, check, align, sand, torrid, traverse.
And here’s The Sunday Whirl: