contempt of the winged for the terrestial

(c) thomas prior

Deserter 1 wandered off during the rainstorm that ended the battle. He had fought enough for himself but not enough for his immediate supervisors. They found him sleeping under a stately elm, his phone on his chest. Lullabies streamed brightly from the device despite the small speakers and weak reception. They hung him from the shade tree. Later, as busy work, the interns chopped down the tree. After a succession of education processes, the tree was a stack of treated lumber. A different set of interns used the lumber to built a coffin for Deserter 1.

Deserter 2 was a computer programmer. He would have rather done something more active, less brainy and indoors, but his angels were sedentary angels, and they did not wish to chase him around the world. He was a reliable programmer, prone to moral panics about his incremental assistance to the military-industrial complex. The nature of his employment was not the angels’ responsibility. Choices led to other choices led to programming military drones. He only qualified as a deserter just barely.

Deserter 3 was only on base to use a relative’s purchasing privileges at the dispensary PX. One of the security wraiths denatured him. Fight or flight reflexes.

Deserter 4 was a security wraith. She grew up in a stable and loving home but over time developed persistent and debilitating deficit of self-love. She walked off the job. They found her in the mailbox of a vacant farmhouse two counties over. They dropped the mailbox in a car shredder.

Deserter 5 stole a car. He drove fast and straight enough to transcend earthly justice. At present writing he lives on an asteroid, one of the shitty ones. Extradition treaties with the space bacteria are a work in progress.

Deserter 6 was an asteroid.

Deserters 7 through 1,001 TK