I’m blogging this here story I’m writing, right here. It’s raw, unedited and hot like an elephant’s heart.
The thing about these witches is that they’re all tiny dictators. Sure, in their little cages, flying in space, there’s no limit to their power, but get a mile away and they have no control at all. And a mile is a very short distance, once you get away from Earth.
It’s a parlor trick. Punch a hole in space-time and you get a tiny white dot. Hook that up to some wires or a battery or whatever it is that they do with it and you get near-infinite free energy. You can call yourself whatever you want then: king, emperor, god. I’ve seen all of those. We just call them witches. And I hunt witches.
You wouldn’t get away with this kind of garbage on Earth – some real cop would be in your face the minute you punctured the continuum. It’s dangerous. But this is the minefield. It’s all danger up here. It’s all danger and garbage.
Right now I’m outside the airlock doors of one of these witches – this one built herself a castle. It’s kind of funny when you see it from a distance. It’s surrounded by all the normal minefield junk – abandoned satellites, spaceships so scavenged for scrap they’re just skeletons, asteroids, mines left over from one of the wars. Right in the middle of all that is a stone castle with a frickin drawbridge and four frickin towers.
To get to the airlock of this place, you need to fly through a moat. Yeah, a three-dimensional moat made of real water, in space. And it flows in a circle around the place. I can’t even imagine the energy budget for that, containing all that water in a ring and keeping it moving. Astronomical, you might say. You might say that; I wouldn’t. I don’t crack bad jokes.
Usually the witches can do whatever they want up here. Nobody cares. Go ahead and cause a singularity out here and suck a bunch of garbage into another dimension. Save someone else the effort of cleaning it up themselves. Even if one of the witches declared herself princess of the minefield and took it all over, no one would even glance at it through a telescope. But once you start doing something that affects the bigwigs down planetside, you’re done. That’s when they send in someone like me to take care of the problem.
I’m through the moat now and I’m at the airlock, which of course looks just like a medieval drawbridge. It opens and you can’t see hydraulics or anything – it really looks like a wooden gate attached to ancient, creaking chains. It’d be charming, if I was capable of being charmed.
My ship glides in through the airlock and nestles itself in one of the docking bays. All this stuff is automated now. I remember having to actually drive one of these things in the service. What a frickin nightmare that was, especially docking in a place like this. Now they just do all the driving on their own. Put a lot of pilots out of business, that did. Their famous Union didn’t help them there. They crash and burn like anyone else.
I put on my suit and step out of the ship and right here is where I get the idea that this one might be different from all the other witch hunts I’ve been on, because my spacesuit has changed into armor and my ship is now a dragon. Yeah, I just flew here on a dragon. Well, it was damn comfortable inside, I can tell you that.
One of the things you can do with infinite energy is reality engineering. You can more or less create your own little universe inside of the big universe, and you can rewrite the rules of physics for everything that goes on inside.
This is kind of standard practice for these little dictators. They change things as they see fit. I was in a place once where everything was always on fire, but no fuel was ever consumed. One guy fixed gravity so that everything inside his little world was always rotating around him.
This is why the real cops get concerned any time someone pops themselves a power spot. It’s this kind of junk that turned all of Australia into mercury during the wars. After the treaties, the real cops were put in charge of keeping things real.
So these witches make their own little worlds, but usually the crazy rules they make up only apply to things created inside the bubble. You walk in, you stay normal. Not this time. This time, things were getting decidedly weird.