A Rebellion of Most Brave and Beautiful Persons, Non-Persons, and Entities of Unspecified, Indeterminate, or Variable Personness

Approximately 5.34 giga-light-years away, in the galaxy Kadradax, approximately 192 petaseconds ago, the Ourokamaedian Star Empire was at the height of its power. With tens of thousands of star systems and over a million cubic parsecs under its control, no-one and nothing could stand in its way.

The capital planet of the empire — Ourokamaedia — was one giant city. The surface was a forest of glass and chrome skyscrapers, the foundations of which were just older skyscrapers. (If there was mud or rock beneath it all, it had not been seen in millennia.) The people of Ourokamaedia travelled from building to building by flying car.

And those people were most varied, for, over the years, many of those of species native to other planets in the empire had travelled to its capital. Some of those aliens had green skin, while others had blue. Some had skin that was luminescent, while others had skin that was transparent on Tuesday afternoons. Some of those aliens were made of bone, blood, and brain, while others were little more than spheres of fat surrounded by a thin, greasy film — whether they had any intelligence at all was a subject of much debate. There were, predictably, robots — of many different kinds. Some were made of polymer and titanium, of transistors and electrochemical cells; others were made of brass and glass, of boilers and flywheels. Some robots were the overthrew-their-creators kind, and others were the actually-we-get-along-fine-with-our-creators kind.

Any form of life that could exist existed on Ourokamaedia. However, the species that had evolved on the planet (and which had first set out to the stars and established the empire thousands of years ago) remained the majority of the population. They were similar in appearance to us humans in a way that is narratively convenient.

It was the year 3504, and the Ourokamaedian Empire was ruled by Emperor Zhang Song, the Fifty-fourth Emperor of the Karamaxium Throne. He was old and withered; he had ruled for a hundred and twenty-nine years. His hair was as wispy as broken spiderwebs, his skin tore as easily as wet paper, and his bones were as brittle as those flakes that fall off cinnamon swirls and stick to your jumper. But his wit was still as sharp as it was when he was in his youth, and his voice still cut through the pride of most. His grip upon his soup spoon was weak, but his grip upon power was strong.

And something that must be impressed upon you, dear reader, is that Emperor Zhang Song was evil. Not the kind of evil of a politician who takes a bribe from a large corporation. Nor the kind of evil of someone who violates the unspoken rules of queuing. No, Emperor Zhang Song was properly evil — the evil of skimmed milk, or sweet potato fries, or moussaka. The evil of boiled tofu or quiche. The evil of vegan cheese. Zhang Song was a person who savoured inflicting pain on others — whether it was a physical agony or a psychological one. Anyone who dared oppose him, or even just someone he didn’t like the look of, was sent to a prison camp on one of the moons of Renlor, where they were worked to death or simply shot. When a planet rebelled against the control of the empire, it was blown up. Zhang Song was the epitome of an evil dictator. The quintessential fascist. A person upon whom history will not look favourably. A person whose moral principles were highly questionable. A thoroughly bad guy.

As such he was despised by all of the people of the empire. Every day the people of the empire spoke of how much they hated the Emperor, and of how much they wished to remove him. They went on and on about it.

One day, there was a man sitting in a café on the eight-hundred-and-eighty-eighth floor of a skyscraper who had just about had enough. He was a man without any particularly unusual traits. He was neither particularly short nor tall. Neither particularly fat nor thin. Neither particularly ugly nor beautiful. He spent a lot of time watching holographic television and he thought punning was the highest form of wit. He had spent a good part of his life working in the ice mines of Ourokamaedia’s third moon — an occupation known for being arduous and one that didn’t get you much money. His past was bleak and his future was bleaker.

‘I’ve had enough!’ this man without any particularly unusual traits said, repeating what I already said to you in the last paragraph — which is something that some authors would call inefficient. ‘And I’m going to do something about it!’ he said.

‘What are you going to do about it?’ said a character who will not appear again in this story.

‘I’m going to kill the Emperor!’ the man without any particularly unusual traits said. ‘He is the cause of all of our problems. He is evil! He must be removed!’

The people in the café cheered.

The man without any particularly unusual traits stood up, feeling bold. ‘I will kill the Emperor! And all of us will be free from his evil rule! No longer will we suffer!’

The people in the café cheered louder.

‘This is the start of our rebellion! Who will join me?’

‘I will join you!’ said a man with green skin — he was an Ooloog-ogarian — they are similar to the Ourokamaedians in almost all ways, except that they have green skin, and green blood. He stood up too. ‘I will fight for what is right! And to overthrow this evil dictator!’

‘Welcome, brother! Together we will bring justice to this empire again!’

‘I will join you!’ said a woman with no arms or legs. She did not stand up like the other two … because she had no legs. ‘I will give every cell of my body to end the House of Zhang!’

‘Welcome, sister! Together we will bring justice to this empire again!’

‘I will join you!’ said a robot (a Tzi-tzio Tiriko’ to be precise) in a voice that sounded all techno-y, but which definitely wasn’t just lazy writing. ‘I will give every wire of my body to end this autocracy!’

‘Welcome … … … you …’ the man without any particularly unusual traits said. ‘Together we will bring justice to this empire again!’

‘I will join you!’ said a fat Ganrarian, in a voice that was coarse and guttural. The Ganrarians have a strong warrior culture, and this Ganrarian, like many, wore layers of thick, black armour, and his face was covered in tattoos signifying all of his great achievements in battle. ‘I will help to defeat this fascist for the glory of Ganraria!’

‘We will join you!’ said a purple blob (an Obloobe Powemblon, to be precise — they have no arms, no legs, no head — no discernible features of any kind — they are just blobs), in a voice like bubbling yoghurt. ‘We will help to rid the galaxy of this oppressive regime!’

‘I will join you too!’ said a lesbian. She was … just a lesbian. ‘I will help to rid the universe of Zhang Song!’

‘Welcome, friends!’ said the man without any particularly unusual traits. ‘Together we will bring justice to this empire again! We will march on the Emperor’s palace, break inside, find the Emperor, and kill him, for he is most evil!’ Everyone in the café cheered. ‘But not only this! For too long, so many of us have been second-class citizens in this society! For too long, robots have been treated no better than slaves!’ he said, gesturing to the robot.

‘It’s true!’ the robot said.

‘For too long, Ganrarians have been expected to fight the empire’s wars!’

‘It’s true!’ the fat Ganrarian said.

‘For too long, Obloobe Powemblotthlo have been ridiculed by the media!’

‘It’s true!’ the purple blob gurgled.

‘But no more!’ the man without any particularly unusual traits said. ‘Our rebellion will not be like this! Our rebellion will be fair! No-one will be a second-class citizen! No-one will be looked down upon or disrespected! No-one will be made to feel uncomfortable simply for who they are! For we are all brave fighters in this rebellion!’

Everyone in the café cheered.

‘We will be accountable. If any of our group does something wrong, they will not simply be allowed to get away with it, as the Emperor and his ministers are so often. We will take swift action to be rid of such a person, and in doing so we will keep our rebellion pure! For who are we to remove the Emperor if we are no better than him?!’

Everyone in the café cheered.

‘Our rebellion will never be tainted! From when we leave this café to when we take off the Emperor’s head, our rebellion will be fair, just, and equal! No-one will be mocked or ridiculed! No-one will be disparaged or disrespected! No-one will be made to feel uncomfortable! Come, brave friends! Let us storm the imperial palace!’

And the rebels charged out through the glass doors of the café, onto a balcony in the clouds. Everyone else in the café cheered and waved to the rebels as they got into a flying taxi that hovered next to the balcony.

The man without any particularly unusual traits, the woman with no arms or legs, the man with green skin, the robot, the fat Ganrarian, the purple blob, and the lesbian first went to the home of the fat Ganrarian, for he owned a large number of laser rifles (which are rifles that shoot high-power laser beams) and laser grenades (which in truth are just regular grenades, but it sounds cooler if you put ‘laser’ in front). They landed on the balcony outside the fat Ganrarian’s apartment. He rushed inside, and returned moments later with weapons.

‘My fellow Ourokamaedians, Ooloog-ogarians, Tzi-tzio Tiriko’, Ganrarians, Obloobe Powemblotthlo, here is where our rebellion begins!’ the man without any particularly unusual traits said. ‘We will go to the imperial palace, break through its gates, find our way to the throne room at its centre, and kill the Emperor! Doubtless our fight will be hard! There will be many obstacles in our way! We may have to climb up tall walls, leap over perilous gaps, and crawl through narrow spaces. We will likely have to fight off the many guards of the imperial palace, and we will do so with these weapons! Take as many as you can carry!’

The rebels picked up the weapons, and searched through the other equipment that the fat Ganrarian had for things that might be useful.

‘Um … excuse me!’ the woman with no arms or legs said. ‘How am I supposed to fire any of these weapons?! How am I supposed to climb up tall walls, leap over perilous gaps, or crawl through narrow spaces?! I don’t have any arms or legs!’

The other rebels all stopped what they were doing.

‘I confess, I did not say at the café, but I do not think you will be able to join us in this fight.’ the man without any particularly unusual traits said. ‘Without arms or legs, you will not be able to do these things. I do not think you will be able to help us enter the palace and kill the Emperor.’

‘This is unacceptable!’ the woman with no arms or legs said. ‘I have just as much right to storm the palace and kill the Emperor as you do! This rebellion was founded on the ideals of fairness, justice, and equality, and yet now I am being denied an opportunity that everyone else has! This is disgusting! This is disgraceful! This is discriminatory! I am being treated as less than everyone else!’

‘No’, the man without any particularly unusual traits said. ‘It’s just that in order to break into the palace and fight off the guards you need to be able t-’

‘AND NOW I AM BEING SILENCED!!! THIS REBELLION CLAIMS TO BE ABOUT FAIRNESS, JUSTICE, AND EQUALITY, BUT NOW I SEE THAT IT IS ANYTHING BUT! THIS REBELLION IS ROTTEN TO ITS CORE! WELL ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! WE SHOULD END THIS HATEFUL RHETORIC ONCE AND FOR ALL!!!’

‘She is right!’ said the man with green skin.

‘Yes, she is right!’ said the robot, the fat Ganrarian, the purple blob, and the lesbian.

‘This rebellion is rotten to its core!’ the man with green skin said. ‘We cannot tolerate a leader who is so intolerant! We must get rid of him!’

‘Yes!’ the others, apart from the man without any particularly unusual traits, said.

‘What?!’ the man without any particularly unusual traits said.

The man with green skin took one of the laser rifles, and shot him in the head.

‘At last!’ the man with green skin said as red blood washed over the fat Ganrarian’s balcony. ‘We are finally free of this tyranny! Never again will we allow this poison into our rebellion! From now on we shall be pure!’ They kicked the man without any particularly unusual trait’s body off the edge of the skyscraper.

‘We must choose a new leader!’ the lesbian said.

‘Yes, we must!’ the man with green skin said. ‘We must take a vote!’

‘I vote for this brave and beautiful woman here!’ the lesbian said, gesturing to the woman with no arms or legs.

‘I also vote for this brave and beautiful woman!’ the man with green skin said. Everyone else voted for her too.

‘It is agreed, then! She will be our new leader!’ the man with green skin said. ‘What must we do next?’ he said to her.

‘We must go to the palace! Come, brave friends!’

The man with green skin, the robot, the fat Ganrarian, the purple blob, and the lesbian lifted the woman with no arms or legs back into the taxi, and they flew off through the clouds.

Within minutes they came to the long avenue that led up to the front gates of the imperial palace. The avenue was suspended in the air, hundreds of metres above the lower levels of the city, by great chrome circles. Columns made of a marble-like stone lined the avenue, and two great iron braziers — which were lit 32/9 — stood at the end. The taxi perched right on the end of the floating avenue, and the man with green skin, the robot, the fat Ganrarian, the purple blob, and the lesbian lifted the woman with no arms or legs out of it.

The rebels charged along the avenue towards the entrance of the palace, as the taxi flew away. The road leading up to the entrance is 2 kilometres long, so it was a while before they arrived at the gates — they should have landed closer — but when they reached them they found them to be open and unguarded.

‘Look, brave friends!’ the woman with no arms or legs said, being carried by the fat Ganrarian and the lesbian. ‘The gates are open! There are no guards! What luck that today of all days the imperial palace is unguarded! It is a sign! The black blood of the Emperor shall wash the floors of the palace today! Not a single drop of red blood — the blood of the fair, the just, and the true — shall spill from our veins!’

The rebels were about to charge through the gates into the palace, when …

‘Um … excuse me!’ the man with green skin said. ‘What do you mean “red blood”? Some of us have green blood!’

‘I confess’, the woman with no arms or legs said. ‘I forgot that not everyone here had red blood. I simply meant th-’

‘YOU FORGOT!!!’ the man with green skin (and green blood) said. ‘IT MUST BE NICE TO FORGET HOW OFTEN OOLOOG-OGARIANS ARE MOCKED FOR HAVING GREEN SKIN! THIS CLEARLY SHOWS YOUR ANTI-OOLOOG-OGARIAN BIAS! THIS IS DISGUSTING! THIS IS DISGRACEFUL! THIS IS DISCRIMINATORY! I AM BEING TREATED AS “OTHER”! I AM BEING TREATED LIKE I’M SOME SORT OF ALIEN!’

‘Well, technically you are an alien. We’re all ali-’

‘AND NOW YOU ARE TALKING OVER ME!!! THIS REBELLION CLAIMS TO BE ABOUT FAIRNESS, JUSTICE, AND EQUALITY, BUT NOW I SEE THAT IT IS ANYTHING BUT! THIS REBELLION IS ROTTEN TO ITS CORE! WELL ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! WE SHOULD END THIS HATEFUL RHETORIC ONCE AND FOR ALL!!!’

‘He is right!’ said the robot.

‘Yes, he is right!’ said the fat Ganrarian, the purple blob, and the lesbian.

‘This rebellion is rotten to its core!’ the robot said. ‘We cannot tolerate a leader who is so intolerant! We must get rid of her!’

‘Yes!’ the others, apart from the woman with no arms or legs, said.

‘What?!’ the woman with no arms or legs said.

The robot raised his laser rifle, and shot her in the head.

‘At last!’ the robot said as red blood washed down onto the paved avenue. ‘We are finally free of this tyranny! Never again will we allow this poison into our rebellion! From now on we shall be pure!’ They kicked the woman with no arms or legs’ body off the edge of the floating road. It fell down into a street in the lower levels of the city, crushing a man’s kamcha stall.

‘We must choose a new leader!’ the lesbian said.

‘Yes, we must!’ the robot said. ‘We must take a vote!’

‘I vote for this brave and beautiful man here!’ the lesbian said, gesturing to the man with green skin.

‘I also vote for this brave and beautiful man!’ the robot said. Everyone else voted for him too.

‘It is agreed, then! He will be our new leader!’ the robot said. ‘What must we do next?’ he said to him.

‘We must find our way to the throne room at the centre of the palace! Doubtless this will be hard — there will be many guards along the way! Come, brave friends!’

The man with green skin, the robot, the fat Ganrarian, the purple blob, and the lesbian charged through the gates.

Beyond the gates was a narrow bridge over a moat that encircled the inner palace. The surface of the grey water, flat and glassy, was a hundred metres below. The inner palace was a towering structure made of polished, veined black stone. Turrets and halls, bridges and balconies piled on top of each other. The rebels stormed over the bridge, and through the main doors, which were a glossy black, decorated with gold inlay, and wide open, into the inner palace.

They went up a wide, polished stone staircase, then along a hall. Then they went down a different staircase with rich red carpets, and through a small garden that had a fountain in the centre and violet flowers in the borders. At no point did they see any guards. Then they went up another staircase, down another, up another, and after a short while they were completely lost.

‘This palace is a maze!’ the man with green skin said. ‘Doubtless it was designed to confuse enemies of the Emperor! But fear not, brave friends! Luck has been on our side thus far, and it is only a matter of time before we find the throne room! For our hearts beat with the vengeance of a thousand conquered peoples!’

They were about to continue running up and down staircases, when …

‘Um … excuse me!’ the robot said. ‘What do you mean “our hearts”?! Some of us don’t have hearts!’

‘I know — it’s just a metaphor.’ the man with green skin said.

‘OH I SEE!’ the robot said. ‘THAT’S VERY BIO-NORMATIVE OF YOU! YOU KNOW IT’S EXACTLY THAT SORT OF LANGUAGE THAT CAUSES ORGANIC LIFE-FORMS ACROSS THE EMPIRE TO TREAT ROBOTS LIKE ME AS NOTHING MORE THAN COMPUTERS! THAT’S THE SORT OF LANGUAGE THAT CAUSES SUCH HIGH RATES OF DEPRESSION AND SUICIDE AMONG ROBOTKIND! YOU’RE BASICALLY MURDERING MILLIONS OF PEOPLE BY USING THAT KIND OF LANGUAGE!!!’

‘How is that committing m-?!’

‘AND NOW YOU ARE TALKING OVER ME!!! THIS REBELLION CLAIMS TO BE ABOUT FAIRNESS, JUSTICE, AND EQUALITY, BUT NOW I SEE THAT IT IS ANYTHING BUT! THIS REBELLION IS ROTTEN TO ITS CORE! WELL ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! WE SHOULD END THIS HATEFUL RHETORIC ONCE AND FOR ALL!!!’

‘He is right!’ said the fat Ganrarian.

‘Yes, he is right!’ said the purple blob and the lesbian.

‘This rebellion is rotten to its core!’ the fat Ganrarian said. ‘We cannot tolerate a leader who is so intolerant! We must get rid of him!’

‘Yes!’ the others, apart from the man with green skin, said.

‘What?!’ the man with green skin said.

The fat Ganrarian raised his laser rifle, and shot him in the head.

‘At last!’ the fat Ganrarian said as green blood washed across the polished, tiled floor of the hall. ‘We are finally free of this tyranny! Never again will we allow this poison into our rebellion! From now on we shall be pure!’ They shoved the man with green skin’s body into a garbage chute. It dropped down eighty floors onto a pile of rotten food, and was incinerated moments later.

‘We must choose a new leader!’ the lesbian said.

‘Yes, we must!’ the fat Ganrarian said. ‘We must take a vote!’

‘I vote for this brave and beautiful person here!’ the lesbian said, gesturing to the robot.

‘I also vote for this brave and beautiful person!’ the fat Ganrarian said. Everyone else voted for him too.

‘It is agreed, then! He will be our new leader!’ the fat Ganrarian said. ‘What must we do next?’ he said to him.

‘We must find our way through this maze!’ the robot said. ‘Maybe there is a computer interface somewhere that I can connect to, to get a map of the palace!’

The robot, the fat Ganrarian, the purple blob, and the lesbian continued running along the hallways and up and down the staircases of the imperial palace. They didn’t see a computer interface anywhere — just smooth walls and pillars made of different colours of veined stone, rich tapestries with pictures of the Emperor woven into them, as well as oil paintings, statues, and holograms depicting the Emperor.

‘Damn it! There is not a single interface!’ the robot said. ‘The Emperor must have known that his enemies would look for one! He is most cunning!’

‘Look!’ the purple blob said. ‘It is one of the Emperor’s evil ministers!’

The other three turned and looked down a hallway, and saw one of the Emperor’s ministers walking across it. He had not seen them.

‘He must know the way to the throne room!’ the robot said. ‘Great friend!’ he said, turning to the fat Ganrarian. ‘Go and rough him up! Then he will tell us where it is!’

The robot, the purple blob, and the lesbian all looked towards the Emperor’s minister, waiting for the fat Ganrarian to charge ahead and pin him against the wall. But instead …

‘Um … excuse me!’ the fat Ganrarian said. ‘Why did you choose me to go and beat him up?!’

‘What?’

‘Is it because I’m a Ganrarian?’

‘No, it’s just becau-’

‘Do you think all Ganrarians are brutes who are only good for war?!’

‘No-’

‘You know it’s that kind of attitude that makes it so difficult for people like me to find occupations outside of the military! You are the reason why so many of my people are living in poverty, which is what leads to such high death rates among Ganrarians! You are basically murdering millions of people with that attitude!’

‘I just chose you because you were standing next to m-’

‘AND NOW I AM BEING SILENCED!!! THIS REBELLION CLAIMS TO BE ABOUT FAIRNESS, JUSTICE, AND EQUALITY, BUT NOW I SEE THAT IT IS ANYTHING BUT! THIS REBELLION IS ROTTEN TO ITS CORE! WELL ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! WE SHOULD END THIS HATEFUL RHETORIC ONCE AND FOR ALL!!!’

‘He is right!’ said the purple blob.

‘Yes, he is right!’ said the lesbian.

‘This rebellion is rotten to its core!’ the purple blob said. ‘We cannot tolerate a leader who is so intolerant! We must get rid of him!’

‘Yes!’ the others, apart from the robot, said.

‘What?!’ the robot said.

The purple blob enveloped a laser rifle, angled it at the robot, and shot him in the head.

‘At last!’ the purple blob said as wires, screws, and jagged, red-hot pieces of metal scattered across the stonework. ‘We are finally free of this tyranny! Never again will we allow this poison into our rebellion! From now on we shall be pure!’ They chucked the robot’s body out of a high window — it overlooked the moat. The robot’s body fell down into the steely water a hundred and fifty metres below.

‘We must choose a new leader!’ the lesbian said.

‘Yes, we must!’ the purple blob said. ‘We must take a vote!’

‘I vote for this brave and beautiful person here!’ the lesbian said, gesturing to the fat Ganrarian.

‘We also vote for this brave and beautiful person!’ the purple blob said. Since there were only three of them left, they carried the vote.

‘It is agreed, then! He will be our new leader!’ the purple blob said. ‘What must we do next?’ he said to him.

‘We must chase after that minister, and force him to tell us where the throne room is!’

So the fat Ganrarian, the purple blob, and the lesbian ran after the minister. They soon caught up to him. The minister wore flowing sable robes. His mouth was thin, his eyes were sunken, and his jet black hair was pressed flat. The fat Ganrarian held the minister up against the wall by the neck, but he couldn’t speak when they did that, so they let him down again. He immediately told them everything they wanted to know.

‘Go down that hallway, turn left, pass three doorways on your right and then go down the fourth. The throne room is at the end of that hallway. There you will find the Emperor.’

‘Come, brave friends! We are minutes away from victory!’ the fat Ganrarian said, and the three of them ran off. They forgot to kill the minister, which was most unfortunate, as he was the Emperor’s Minister of Re-education. After he was let go, he went off to the prison camp on one of the moons of Renlor to oversee the execution of a thousand dissidents.

The fat Ganrarian, the purple blob, and the lesbian followed the directions that the minister had given them, and, sure enough, they came to a long hallway, at the end of which was a towering set of doors, brushed with gold leaf, and inlaid with diamonds and emeralds and opals — the door to the throne room.

‘At last!’ the fat Ganrarian said. ‘Victory is at hand! The Emperor shall bitterly regret having employed such a foolish man as one of his ministers! Such foolishness is not tolerated on Ganraria! Our fight has been hard, brave friends, but we have stayed true to our cause and to ourselves! After all our trials, I am glad to be standing here next to the two of you! Onwards, brave friends!’

The fat Ganrarian and the lesbian stepped forwards, but …

‘Um … excuse us!’ the purple blob said. ‘What do you mean “the two of you”?’

The fat Ganrarian turned. ‘What do you mean? I mean the two of you! You and this lesbian here.’

‘Are you calling us one person?!’

‘What do you mean?!’ the fat Ganrarian said angrily. ‘You are one person!’

‘How dare you! You ignorant anti-multiplist! We are a collection of hundreds of symbiotic organisms!’

‘Well how was I supposed to know that?!’

‘WELL IF YOU CARED TO KNOW MORE ABOUT OBLOOBE POWEMBLOTTHLO, THEN YOU WOULD HAVE KNOWN! YOU KNOW THAT’S EXACTLY THE SORT OF ATTITUDE THAT LEADS TO OBLOOBE POWEMBLOTTHLO BEING RIDICULED IN THE MEDIA!’

‘I can’t be expected to know everything about every species on this planet — there are tens of thousands of d-’

‘AND NOW WE ARE BEING SILENCED!!! THIS REBELLION CLAIMS TO BE ABOUT FAIRNESS, JUSTICE, AND EQUALITY, BUT NOW WE SEE THAT IT IS ANYTHING BUT! THIS REBELLION IS ROTTEN TO ITS CORE! WELL ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! WE SHOULD END THIS HATEFUL RHETORIC ONCE AND FOR ALL!!!’

‘They are right!’ said the lesbian. ‘This rebellion is rotten to its core! We cannot tolerate a leader who is so intolerant! We must get rid of him!’

‘What?!’ the fat Ganrarian said.

The lesbian raised her laser rifle, and shot him in the head.

‘At last!’ the lesbian said. ‘We are finally free of this tyranny! Never again will we allow this poison into our rebellion! From now on we shall be pure!’

‘What a brave and beautiful action you took!’ the purple blob said. ‘He was probably not a good fighter anyway! We’ve never seen a Ganrarian who was so fat!’

‘How dare you!’ the lesbian said. ‘That is a disgusting remark!’ She raised her laser rifle, and shot the purple blob in the goo.

Being many organisms, the purple blob didn’t die right away, so she fired several more times, until the entire purple blob had been vaporised. She did the same to the body of the fat Ganrarian, until there was little left other than smoking blood and brains on the floor of the hallway.

‘Alas! So many of those who were once in this rebellion turned out to be just as evil as the Emperor! It is up to me to finally rid the world of this evil!’

The lesbian charged along the hallway, laser rifle in hand, and kicked open the golden doors. (They were not locked. There were no guards.)

Beyond the doors was a great crystal hall. Pillars of agate held up a roof of quartz. The floor was tiled with squares of malachite and chalcopyrite. Copper-framed windows along the sides of the hall looked out over the rest of the palace, and over Ourokamaedia. The great hall was empty — there were no tables or chairs, statues or tapestries — not even a potted plant — except for at the far end of the hall, where the Emperor’s throne stood. It was made of a single, massive diamond — the largest ever retrieved from the planet Huruigon. Its edges were jagged and sharp, and a short flight of steps led up to the seat itself.

And on that seat was the Emperor. He was having lunch. On a plate on his right were some slices of crusty bread, some slices of ham, two or three different cheeses, and a bunch of juicy, red grapes. (By sheer genetic co-incidence, they do have bread, ham, cheese, and grapes on Ourokamaedia — a planet that has no biological connection to our own.) The Emperor chose a few grapes from the bunch and ate them, and took a sip of an iced drink — apparently unaware that someone had just charged into his throne room. There were no guards, and the Emperor had no weapon.

‘At last!’ the lesbian said. ‘I have found you! Do not try to run — there is no escape! I have come to avenge all the peoples of this empire, who have had to live under your oppressive rule! I have come to restore fairness, justice, and equality to this empire! I have come to end you!’

The Emperor did not look up. He continued eating.

‘Ha! Your arrogance is surpassed only by your malice! You have been outwitted. I have fought past every obstacle you have put in my way! Your ministers have betrayed you! No-one is here to defend you! Only the cold hand of justice is left for you! Not even your wife and children shall mourn for you!’

The lesbian raised her laser rifle, ready to fire.

‘Did you just assume that I’m heterosexual?’ the Emperor said. ‘I could be gay for all you know.’

The lesbian paused, shocked. ‘I … I didn’t … … … oh no. I am just as bad as all those other people! I am just as bad as you! I am no longer worthy of being in this rebellion!’

The lesbian turned her laser rifle towards herself, and shot herself in the head.

And thus ended that attempt to kill the Emperor … just like the previous 354 attempts.

Original story and artwork, Copyright © Benjamin T. Milnes

Author of On The Subject Of Trolls and Zolantis