The Battle Hymn

Of The Asbahri

Episode 1

The Weight of the World

Photo by Ian Espinosa from Unsplash.Title font by Matthew Colclough.

“Intromission and Allegory”

Attachment C :- Story “The Strength to Go”

* Prose type: fiction

* Classifications: classical literature, poetic, allegorical?

* Date: late 12th C

* Author: ‘Anon’. 

“The Strength to Go”

I have been away from her too long, I thought. I only wish, when I go back, I could stay longer.

Today, I would be with her one last time, a fleetingly short but intimate time. I had already taken the first imperceptible steps in her direction, and now my trajectory was set. I could no more change it than ignore the voices in my head.

She wore that alluring blue and white outfit I loved so much, and I swore this would be the image of her that I would take with me on my long journey.

Radiant with abundant life, she accepted my attention and pirouetted slowly, shyly, seductively.

“By the stars, you are so beautiful,” I breathed.

My voices reprimanded me, reminding me I should not give voice to my thoughts, that I should converse only with them. 

She was watching me with bated breath, observing every moment of my approach with eager anticipation. I had no control over my movements; as much an observer as she, I noted my pace increase, now tearing towards her, seemingly arrowing straight at her. As I approached her, it became plain to us both that I would pass so near to her she would feel and hear the force of my passage.

She pulled me in closer and changed into welcoming, black, sexy nightwear. I twirled around her, kissing her tenderly, intimately, the searing stimulation suffusing me with heat. Feeling the weight of the world, I screamed in passion and terror.

I knew I lived only because the voices kept talking, encouraging me in tones that were calm, patient and reassuring. Both passion and heat dissipated, and I looked back as I fled so fast from her. She was changing back into her blue apparel, excited, happy, almost glowing in her morning glory. The voices conveyed her love and well-wishes for my journey, but their words were redundant. I could see her. I knew.

And with that last, wistful look, the receding image of her beauty seared into my heart, I settled down to converse with the voices before they too faded. I sped on into the cold night, confident that with her freely-given strength, I could go.

-- Anon.

“Report and Recommendations”

An extract of a report to the Cultural Steering Committee, Asbahri Admiralty, Ascendancy HQ, Orbital Habitat 1, Asbah, Firststar:

<start extract>

11.0 Conclusion and recommendations 

Despite our discovery of the true story behind “Team Bhiraj” in Admiralty Archives, and its disturbing ramifications, we recommend in general that no action be taken. 

Specific non-action recommendations follow.

11.1 Recommendations, Group 1

Allow the rank and file of the Asbahri Ascendancy to continue to :-

1) Refer anachronistically to Experimental Clone Batch 19 Bhiraj-4-117207  (Cell-line: Bhiraj, Iteration: 4, Vat-release: 1172 July) as “Team Bhiraj-4” according to modern naming conventions, and more popularly tagged as “Team Bhiraj”.

2) Celebrate the posthumous fame of Team Bhiraj for its pioneering slingshot manoeuvre which paved the way to the exploitation of Firststar’s asteroid belt.

3) Enjoy this love story of classical literature of undocumented meaning, and leave it attributed to Anon.

11.2 Recommendations, Group 2

Let the wider Asbahri Ascendency remain unaware of the the following newly-discovered facts:- 

4) That an unidentified member of Team Bhiraj wrote a seeming love story (see Appendix C, "The Strength To Go") soon after their historic arrival at asteroid CY-843XH872-85.

5) That the story describes, in allegorical terms, the slingshot manoeuvre of Team Bhiraj's spacecraft around Asbah Homeworld; for example: “the strength … to go” refers to the conversion of planetary gravitational mass into a speed boost to reach the asteroid belt.

Note: Admiralty Staff Officers lacking a Space Corps background are advised to study table 4.3 which lists and translates the story’s poetic terms. “Non-spacers” can be confused -even aroused- by poetic terms like “kissing”, and “searing stimulation” which the story uses describe how the spacecraft skimmed the upper atmosphere of Asbah Homeworld and threatened to burn up.

6) That the Admiralty feared the unmilitary artistry of the story might forebode the emergence of free-willed clones and -ultimately- a possible rebellion.

7) On their return, Team Bhiraj spent the rest of their lives in confinement for “security reasons” (section 6.6 lists the interrogative, psychological and surgical examinations used).

8) A substitute clone team (ECB-19-Bhiraj-8-117303, i.e. “Team Bhiraj-8”) performed the later public appearances and exploits attributed officially to “Team Bhiraj-4”.

9) That the quiet leaking of this “classical story” by an anonymous Mission Controller could -if understood- have become the first step in the still-ongoing Equal Rights For Clones debate, and not the much later asteroid miners’ riot of 1284.

11.3 Conclusion

As discussed in section 7.5.2, adjusting Ascendancy culture to link this story with (a) its allegorical meaning and (b) the disturbing fate of Team Bhiraj would not be difficult. 

However, we suggest the negative impact of doing so could be incalculable and offers little strategic advantage for the Total War effort. We recommend the attention of the rank and file remain focussed on containing aggression by the Sea People ("Squids") and on the Ascendancy’s stellar expansion. The current high morale resulting from our successes in space could be impacted by dwelling on such negative events which took place before the start of our Homeworld's evacuation. 

Lieutenant Hadis Kleio, Team Kleio-164

1403 April 3rd

Central Digital Archaeology Group,

Spoke 3, Orbital Habitat 402, Planet Yami, Thirdstar.

For Asbah!

Death to the Sea People!

Outward, the Ascendancy!

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