Beyond the factories and trading towns, Beyond the leaden wastes and silver sea, Beyond the dukes and kings of petty crowns, The land from whence the world is ruled must be. There, forests echo nightingale airs. There, cities brim with soul and solemn mind. Within walls carved with every kingdom's cares The palace stands; therein the law's defined. The guard Imperial are knights unmatched, The throne of Empire, carved from solid jade. The Emperor sends, by falcon-swift dispatch, Advice most wise to all deserving aid. His world is ordered by a perfect mind, While caves of ice keep heart and soul confined.
I wanted to post a sonnet for the Ides of March (the anniversary of Julius Caesar’s death), but I couldn’t find the one I thought I had. So here’s one that at least starts with someone dying.
The tomb is sealed, the lord of Darkness slain, The sound of funereal dirges dies away. The victory of Good is now made plain. In years to come they'll celebrate this day. I was a villain's captive; now I'm free. I held for evil hate; now I must ask What in this world of good is left for me, When all the things I knew are decades past. I did learn things beneath an evil throne: From where the minions come, and why they serve; How best to bury flesh and blood and bone; Against the end, what must stay in reserve. I'd hate to harm the world as it harmed me, But there's no harmless choices I can see.
Continued from Part 1. The narrator has just been captured by a leader of the evil organisation, and imprisoned as a spy.
I surveyed my cell. It was a small room, just large enough for a small bed, with a toilet and sink in a nook fitted with a curtain rail, but, unfortunately, no curtain. Not that it mattered – the cell door was solid (except for what was apparently a letterbox), and the security camera dome in one corner of the ceiling was pointing in the wrong direction to see anything – but it was annoying.
Unfortunately, my prospects of escaping this mess alive didn’t seem good. Stowing away on the cargo submarine had been a spur-of-the-moment thing – I’d been trying to track down a box of stolen bullion, and taken the chance to trace the submarine when it came. Properly, I shouldn’t have gone off like this without plenty of preparation, not the least of which was telling someone where I was going. Even if I was listed as a missing person, no-one would be looking for me here.