The Silver of Our Glory, The Orange of Our Rage
by Jared Oliver Adams
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The dirigible's takeoff from the top of the pyramid was accompanied by the same pomp
as an Imperial bloodfeast. Everyone in attendance had shined their carapaces, and some had gone
so far as to paint themselves as on a high holy day. The mateless filtered through the crowd, sacs
of spume mounded on their backs so any who wished for food could have it.
Hygeria, my left-mate, tapped her foreclaw against my neck. "No more will our race
scrabble in the dirt," Hygeria said with the taps, gesturing at the dirigible with her mandibles.
I passed the message to Ryke, my right-mate, as was expected of me, but I kept my own
thoughts unmoving lest I be suspected.
The dirigible lifted into the sky amidst a great clacking of foreclaws. Clusters began to
clack in unison, and words rippled through the crowd. "Progress, Progress, Progress," was the
first to assert itself. Then, "We reach the sky."
All eyes were on the dirigible.
Its bulging airsac gleamed silver in the bright sunset, and the crew clung to metal racks
along the bottom.
"The silver of our glory!" someone tapped, and the crowd took it up with zeal.
Then the dirigible exploded. Orange flame ripped through the silver airsac, blooming
instantly over the entire structure with a roar. Everyone froze in horror, then stampeded away as
the fireball crashed back down on the pyramid's side, frame crumpling, crew trying to pull free of
I looked at what I had wrought and allowed myself to be pulled away, rejoicing grimly.
It would never reclaim what they had destroyed. Nothing could. But finally the flames of
my anger, so long hidden inside the world of thought, rose a column of smoke in the world of the
body so that all could share in my pain.