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Legio Mihi Nomen Est

by on June 9, 2015

Constance loved the engine room of the Blooming Onion. The place glowed with aquarium-blue light that radiated from the padamantium crystals powering the warp drive. The mighty engines themselves gave a steady whum-whum-whum that resonated beneath her feet, like the purring of a gigantic and contented space cat. She would’ve loved to stay there for a while, leaning against the cool curving walls, listening to the engines’ constant thrumming. It was a pity she had to wreck it.

Being an angel, wrecking the engines wasn’t the only way she had of keeping the starship from going where it wasn’t supposed to be. It was, unfortunately, the best way. She could’ve gone for the direct approach. Pop in out of nowhere on the bridge itself, get her glow on, proclaim something dramatic while choirs trilled in the background. But that sort of thing only counted if people actually believed in angels. She had scoped out the bridge crew. Captain Jolene was a living shade of auburn, and her people worshiped the Great Paint Pot. Paintpotianity did not hold with angels. The first officer was a rock of debatable sentience, Science Officer Spivey gave her the creeps, and Mr. Stamper at tactical was absolutely hopeless. She very much doubted their theological soundness. And if you didn’t believe in angels as divine messengers, you were likely to take badly to a glowing being materializing out of nowhere on your bridge. Constance had no desire to be shot at by phasers. It wouldn’t hurt her, but it might singe her wings, and that was just rude.

That left the indirect approach. Thus, she had flown to the engine room. All she needed to do was push a few buttons, kick some panels in, maybe reverse the polarity of the isolinear dilution matrices, or some such thing. Constance was an angel, not an engineer. She couldn’t necessarily explain how the engines made the starship go, but she was pretty sure some good hearty smashing about would make it stop. Constance giggled. This was going to be fun.

She was just about to pitch into a console when she heard the distinctive woop of a laser rifle powering up. Constance turned slowly around. It was, of course, Mr. Spivey. He looked pale as ever. “You didn’t set off the intruder alarm.”

“Nope,” Constance said. “That dog’s not going to bark.”


Constance reminded herself to check if dogs were still around in this century. “Forget it. Yeah, I didn’t trigger the alarm, ’cause I’m an angel. I go where I want.”

“You’re a dead angel, then, whatever you are.”

“Oh, please,” Constance said, rolling her eyes. “You can’t kill an angel. We’re immortal spirit beings, yo. You can’t just zap me with your laser rifle.”

Mr. Spivey threw the rifle away, and smiled. It was a sudden, evil smile, and Constance didn’t like it at all. “Then I’ll have to use other methods. You’re not the only one with supernatural connections around here.”

“Ooh, Mr. Spivey, I’m so scared.”

“My name,” said the science officer, “is not Spivey. My name…is Legion. For we are many.”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah, so’s your mother,” Constance shot back. “I’ve been around the block, bud. You know how many third-rate idiots I’ve run across who say that? You all read the story and you remember the line, or you saw that Nicolas Cage movie, whatever, and now you’ve all got to be Legion. Please.”

Spivey hadn’t stopped smiling. Suddenly there were two of him. Then three. Then twelve. Then thirty-nine. Then the engine room filled with Spiveys, creepy pale smiling Spiveys with laser rifles, and the aquarium-blue glow of the chamber went suddenly dark. Constance had a sudden horrible suspicion that this guy wasn’t just quoting a line. He meant it.

  1. soccermonkey413 permalink

    Not bad. Not bad at all. 😉 Love how creepy it is. Way to earning my permanent respect is always through creepiness.

    • I don’t often go creepy, but when I do, I am glad to know it works. 🙂 Thanks!

  2. An angel with some attitude – I like it! Though, it may have gotten here in a spot of trouble.

  3. Ha! Spivey creeps me out. I really loved your opening paragraph. I’ve been writing about an airship lately, and my main character has that same affinity for engines. 🙂

    • Your character and Constance have something in common. I don’t know if I’ve developed the engine-affinity aspect of Constance’s character before, but I will definitely keep it in now. Writing that description was fun. 🙂

  4. I enjoyed finding the ultimate question easter egg. Also, I’ve always wondered why the initial reaction to an angel in stories isn’t TOTALLY FREAKING OUT. Yeah, it’s the embodiment of all things good, but you don’t know that when it’s flying at you!

    • This is very true. In the stories, the first thing the angel always says is “Fear not.” You might think, “why would I be afraid of a person in a white robe and wings and a halo,” which leads me to suspect angels are a bit more impressive and terrifying visually than in popular culture.

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