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Here I sit. King of nothing. A beautiful woman begging for the life of her mate and two Guardians to protect me. Right! The two Guardians are as much jailers as they are body guards. My great reward for 263 years of military service to the Empire. Almost all of my human form has been replaced with flexisteel, from all the wounds I have received. I who rose from grunt to Master General. I who won against all odds in the Battle of Evermore. I who rose from one of the conquered races of the planet Earth. I who Lord over a planet of humans barely out of the caves. I who rust in this damnable tropical humidity and heat. I who will never leave this planet or talk to those I love. Not to talk to even those who I fought with, and managed to live through all the battles. Not to have an intellectual conversation with another person for the rest of my life. Not to truly feel the touch of a woman or know love, while I still take breath into these metal lungs.

I think that the Council feared me more than it wanted to reward me. In old times on Earth it was common to give war heroes land as a reward at the end of the war. But this was not the end of the war. For many battles still raged on, and with an ever expanding empire there will always be wars to subjegate planets and civilizations. My soldiers had become to loyal to me, rather than the Empire. I had become more popular with the people for the fairness I used in dealing with them, than the edicts of the Council. I was to receive a whole planet as a reward, rather than a patch of land on some civilized planet, or so the public was told.

In the early days of the Empire, there was an effort not to interfere or be seen by civilizations far less advanced than our own. As time progressed and the mineral and conscript needs of the Empire increased, that line of thought fell by the wayside. It was easier to enslave less advanced civilizations. On truly unadvanced civilizations, it might take only a high ranking officer and one battalion to conquer a planet. Almost all ancient civilizations had some sort of belief in a higher being. The Empire just capitalized on that belief, and the commander of the battalion became their god. Of course they would rise up at some to overthrow the human that had filled the place of their god, but by that time all it took was a call for reinforcements to quell any rebellion.

So why was this planet 'hands off'? Why was it punishable by death to land on this planet or to have radio contact with it? Merely to keep me prisoner here? There is something strange about the humans on this planet. They don't even draft conscripts from these people. They remind me of the tales of prehistoric people on Earth. Oh yes, these people he thought. Looking down at the woman pleading in some unknown form of pre-language. He told one of the Guardians to kill her mate; then take her to his room and chain her to the foot of his bed. He paused for a moment thinking of his fairness in dealing with conquored civilizations, and his lack of concern for these people. He said out loud to no one in particular, "If they ever record their history, I will be judged a harsh and cruel ruler. But what do I care. I paid my debt to the Empire."

* Authorist's Note: Little did this isolated King know that he was actually bait. On many different planets they had found legends of the Lemurians. A people who decended into the third dimension to alter evolving creatures into thinking ones. The changed people often built pyramids to worship them. The secret desire of the Council was to capture one of these Lemurians and follow them back to their world, to continue the expansion of the Empire. Only the highest level agents of the Council were allowed to watch this planet..

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