Zeddex strolled through her private rock garden, brooding. The historian, Wenloden, must be insane and would have to be executed before spreading her dangerous ideas. What troubled Zeddex so was the familiarity of the claims. Intelligent life once existed off the darkstar. Preposterous. But before Wenloden, Yannish had spouted the same heresy, as had Vinzhadel before her—and they had never been in contact with one another. The executions weren’t working. The insanity was spreading.
Zeddex picked a flat spot and lay on the ground, absorbing the darkstar’s warmth and letting it comfort her. In the back of her mind she already knew what needed to be done, and worse, she couldn’t discuss it with her advisors, lest they become vectors themselves. She just needed a moment.
Her tiny eyes were well adapted to watching the subtle changes of the x-ray-filled sky. Ancient rocky embers crawled by overhead, not keeping up with the darkstar’s own spin. They had always been cold dead rocks, of course. Farther away were the blinding silver specs of lightstars, still in their infancy and too hot to inhabit. Yes, only the darkstars could support life. It must be so.
Zeddex stood and assembled her guards. They went to the observatory, and there Zeddex ordered Wenloden into custody, and for all her materials—books and notes and the giant telescope—to be gathered up by the guards. She would have to assume they were all contaminated with the insanity now, herself included. She led them to the core pit. The books and notes were dropped in, and then too the telescope was disassembled and dropped into the darkstar’s warm heart to be turned to fuel to warm the surface a little longer. Wenloden was forced into the pit as she shouted her heresy, and the guards followed, one by one, until at last Zeddex was alone.
She paused to consider, but never lost her resolve. Yes; this was for the betterment of all who lived upon the darkstar. The insanity stops here. She stepped over the ledge and let gravity hold her tight. As had been done since time immemorial, the meager mass of her body fizzled away, converted to the purest warming light in the universe.