I float in silence.

My ship keeps me alive, though it's almost as close to death as I. I lie here, dreaming. If this recording has reached you, it is a miracle, but nonetheless I record it, dreaming. In my dreams I remember...

I chase my enemies through the stars. It's a long, frustrating chase, but I refuse to back down. They've been invading and enslaving, rampaging from system to system, from galaxy to galaxy. My duty, my pride, is to keep them from ever touching their next target: a rocky planet, covered in water and orbiting a yellow star with a few billion rotations left in it. The native intelligent species has just begun self-organizing; a perfect prey for the likes of them.

I finally catch up to them just inside the planet's gravity well. I have a moment to speak the prayer, an incantation against death and a promise that one day we will all be immortal. Then the fight begins.

I fire. They're clever. They don't bother to dodge as energy slides around and past their ship. I'm cleverer. They can't move in the first three dimensions while their shield's up, which leaves them in the perfect position for me to slide vibrations through the sixth and seventh dimensions, triggering electromagnetic disruption in their ship's collapsed-metal skin.

I rip the baryonic matter of their ship to shreds, but that won't stop them; the mental plane is more their home than the physical plane ever was. Already I can't trust my senses. But they've always underestimated my will, and with the knowledge of what will happen to the planet below if I fail, it's stronger than ever.

Two of them attack my rightness, the why of my actions, but this lets me use it to unscrew their own justifications, showing them as the weak, self-serving explanations they are. They scream and flee into the deep field; I hope they find some repentance there.

The rest abandon subtlety and broadcast pain, fear, and despair. I freeze for a half-moment, and they press their advantage, but I push past the fire and darkness and scatter them. They fall back, and I attack.

Victory comes quickly. Two get tricked into the ship's psychetraps while the others stagger away, weakened. They'll probably run off to hide in some black hole, but for now, my job is—


I return to my body to find events at a crisis point. Looks like they were the cleverest. A bomb that didn't even exist until after their ship was destroyed, parts released by the explosion sliding together out of the subtle dimensions, set off as they fled my mental assault.

My ship is pulled down towards the planet. Engines are entirely offline, main and backup. Even navigational thrusters are disabled. No way to prevent the disaster; better start dealing with it.

First, I must minimize the impact on the planet and its inhabitants. I order the ship to reconfigure itself to a three-dimensional form. Some of the angles will be wrong, but it's better than having an eleven-dimensional object around if a micro-singularity passes through.

Now to save myself. I maximize impact buffering and tell the ship to go to full regeneration mode. I activate the stasis pod, but before I enter, I look to the psychetraps. What if they escape? Even in mental form, they could wreak havoc.

Nothing to do about it now. I enter the pod. I die. I sleep. I dream...

Time passes.

My dreams are interrupted by knowing. The species of the planet organizes itself. It builds cities. It tells stories. It dreams. I have succeeded in my mission... almost.

The nameless beings in the psychetraps are not alive, but not dead. They dream, too, and their dreams reach out. Their fear reaches out – their fear of me – and influences the dreams of the people. The people tell stories. I am a threat, a shadow, a demon, a monster.

Becoming a monster is a small enough price to pay, to keep this world safe from the true monsters. Nevertheless, I record this. Perhaps it is pointless self-love, but my dreams would be that much calmer if the truth were known.

I will wait. I know that the stars are spinning, the awesome grandeur of the cosmic cycle. One day, the stars will be just right. I will rise from my sunken grave, and in the starship R'lyeh, Cthulhu will return, great with joy.

In the meantime, I will wait, and remember:

They are not dead, for a moment they lie
And on the last day, even death will die


Andrew "NO .SIG MAN" "Juan" Perron, just got inspired.

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