I will find my death here in the Exclaves.

He – that outworlder – beat my friend to death.  Not for profit.  Not for a plan or a revenge or some twisted necessity.  Slowly, and for his pleasure, because ve was an alien, and he hated all that was wider than his narrow vision or better than his pathetic life.

And I could not just leave that up to the mighty Fourth Directorate to solve.  They would hunt the outworlder down, no doubt, and with all full ceremony and due process of law put him cleanly to death.  “There is no higher repayment; naught can requite more than existence.”

Can it not?

My data worm stole vis final memories from the forensic redactor who extracted them for the court.  And it turns out that there are many things you can do, when you have a cause.  By means my indictment goes into at some length, I found him before they did.  I perverted a cerebral bridge to implant those memories into him as his own.  And I applied memory stimulation and time dilation, and watched him convulse and shriek while a taste of his own hell shredded his mind.

I had him for seven minutes before they found us, but that was enough.

I did not –

No.  One in my position should be honest.  I did enjoy it.  It was horrific and it was sickening, but I did enjoy it.  Thoroughly.  But that is of no relevance.  It may have been vengeance, but it was right.  It was just.  It was balance.

The Directorate permitted me to observe when they executed the residue of him.  Guilt is guilt, they say, and the forms must be obeyed.

When I am finished making this statement, I will be taken before the court one final time.  I am not slated for execution, due to the status of the one I killed, and evidence, they say, of severe mental stress.  I am to be given the choice.

I may enter into meme rehab, to be edited into a version of me who would not have done those things that I have done; who is as capable of cold-mindedness as the men of the Directorate; who could find satisfaction in knowing that ver killer had been… erased.  Or I may decline, and in so doing submit myself to euthanasia.

My friend, reinstantiated, is appalled by my actions, but was still willing to speak with me.  Ve pleaded with me to undergo the meme rehab, but comes no more.  So be it.  Ve is a good friend, a good person, but ve does not understand mélith as we do… as we did, once.  I knew the price, and pay it willingly.

I do not wish to die.  But I will not regret this.  And so I cannot become.

– last testamentary statement of Reldith Calaris-ith-Calir
executed 4144, Versine Exclave

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