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The Tyrant's Statue Is Still Falling

Sean Vivier makes apps for a living. Otherwise, you'll probably find him writing or dancing. Learn more at seanvivier.com.

The tyrant's statue is still falling. It has such a long way to go. There are miles from the uppermost clouds of the gas giant to its core. It will topple for quite a while.
It felt almost as long as the struggle to remove the tyrant from power. We had had to hide low in the gravity well, with ballast sacs all but empty, where the pressure threatened the integrity of our membranes. I had watched friends die in merest hiding. I had watched friends die in battle. I had even seen friends kill each other by mistake. I had killed too many child soldiers to count. I had lost sleep and I had starved and I had bled ballast fumes. I'd bear the scars on my body and my mind as long as I lived.
The others of my kind cheer me. It takes the form of a thrum across their whole outer membranes. The thrum grows so strong that it reverberates through the hydrogen clouds and makes them dance. The longer the statue plummets, the more they cheer. They have much to celebrate.
The People still remember his atrocities. How he allowed the dominant religion to purge their enemies on nights when comets plummeted into the planet - a sign, they said. How his eugenics had made twisted mutants of many of our spawn. How his efforts at population control killed anyone who questioned his decisions. How he made every decision for the economy, giving pleasant work to those who pleased him and unpleasant work to those who disgusted him, without any consideration for talent or vocation, and the resultant want that came from rampant incompetence. How he sent his spores among unwilling mating groups, and how he held unwilling childbearers captive.
His likeness falls end over end, as gravity pulls it ever faster, bit by imperceptible bit. Its bulbous head falls end over end with its fatted tendrils. It almost looks like a real one of us has tumbled downward, though that is impossible with ballast sacs full. I can only imagine what will happen when it reaches the planet's core and the pressure crushes it into a ball.
There is much work to be done, and I must do it while the statue still falls. I must take power and hold it tight. My followers move swift to obey my orders. I have exiled the dominant religion to the other side of the planet, the better to keep us safe from them. I put the eugenic mutants to death, to ease their suffering. I made sure to execute all of the tyrant's strongest loyalists, to make certain they never do the same as he did. I have caged all the tyrant's many spawn. It is the only way to have peace, I know.
Already, they have made a new sculpture to me, on the dais where the tyrant's had stood before, even before it has reached the bottom. So many statues lay crushed at the core of the world. I had to wonder how long until my statue toppled, and how long it might fall until it reached its end.
The End
This story was first published on Wednesday, May 18th, 2022


Author Comments

This began as an image in my head of a statue falling for a long time down a deep gravity well. From there, I only needed a situation and an emotional chord.

- Sean Vivier
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