“Wait, the federal judiciary has it’s own military?”
“Kind of, yes. Legally, the marshals are restricted to enforcing the decisions of the courts, and the only reason they’re so heavily armed is due to the possibility of an armed force – whether independent or planetary – could be a litigant in a legal dispute. As for the possibility of the courts overstepping their bounds, well, all law depends on people…and most of Orion’s military power rests with the worlds.”
Alima unsheathed her knife, cutting into the animal’s flesh. “Now, it gets below freezing in the desert at night, but that isn’t nearly enough to keep the flavor from coming through.” Putrid gas exploded from the cadaver’s innards, the sharp metal blade slicing into the rotted skin.
Jessica shook her head. “Okay, now your just being gross for the sake of gross.”
“The wager: your soul! The game: HOPSCOTCH!!!”
“Your home is being ripped apart by a dick-measuring contest. One side would do nothing with the power they seek, simply letting things fall apart while saying everything will work itself out. The other would spend so much time trying to track things that they fail to act. Neither truly wants to help, only to humiliate their enemies.”
“And you? Why wouldn’t you be sucked up in these dick-measuring contests?”
“Because I am Sex Batman.”
The Bio-Monster’s vines reached out to caress his face. “Clever move. By luring me here, you almost let the other hostages escape.”
The man reached into his suit pocket. Before he could pull anything out, the monster’s vine wrapped itself around his neck.
“Clever, but not clever enough.”
Though the man was struggling to breathe, he still managed to pull his key out of his jacket.
“Oh?” said the Bio-Monster. “Do you have something to say?”
Arrogantly, the monster let the vine slack, letting the man suck in a breath. His windpipe was still squeezed, but it was enough for him to speak. He said, “Trans…form!”
The appearance of the armor alone was enough to cut the vine.
“On the one hand, I really enjoy learning about the minutia of how people run their businesses, but on the other, time is money, so I’ll let you figure out if I’m really beating the market.”
I gave the bureaucrat a small, awkward smile.
“I’m sorry, Ms. Coriander. While I realize that you’re not going to give me permission to act, I’m not exactly asking for it…”
“So, you’re just going to leave it?” asked the archimandrite. “You’re just going to let them keep worshiping a machine?”
The episcope shrugged. “I know it’s against the Ecclesia’s usual mission, but at the moment, our government is currently in a precarious position right now. We need to give the populus time to get used to how we do thing, lest they turn themselves over to…other powers.”
The archimandrite only hummed in response, letting the fans in his head cool his thoughts.
The episcope, growing weary of the silence, spoke, “I thought you would have been happy with the Oracle. You certainly don’t seem to complain about the precision of your limbs-“
The archimandrite reared up on his great metal tail, his six mechanical arms spread wide as he loomed over the episcope. “Do not dare to compare the two! We make our bodies into machines, so that machines will forever be controlled by our minds. This Oracle, in the reverse, is a machines that enslaves the minds of others.”
The archimandrite came back down, letting the episcope tremble as the cyborg slid off. “Although I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. The Ecclesia is always trying to replace human judgement with rule and regulation.”
“I’m not going to force you into anything. You can go back to your people. I’ll even arrange transportation for you. But you will forever be tainted by the Dawn.”
“I’m not going to let you do this, fire demon. Not here. Not anymore.”