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PostPosted: Sun, Feb 05 2017, 9:29 AM 

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"A Virulent Pox on Unorthodox Nox"
That was the mantra of a creche, of which Thalnox was warden. He'd been to the surface on raid, or so it was told, a few too many times. Picked up strange ideas. Perversions. His punishment? Banished from the rank and file to oversee minutia in a den of mewling youth.

He was despised. He must've had a thousand ways of beating children down, developed over years of service. Nox's musical boxes were the worst. He'd lock children in crates for as long as he could. Sit on top of them and bang away at the sides like a drum, keeping time to the grunts of his laughter. Then, when he got bored, he'd throw them down the service shoot like a laundry delivery. They washed their clothes often and hoped for a softer landing than brick.

In the end, though, Old Nox got a pox of sorts. Someone slipped a dipped blade through his rib cage, mid-rendition. I don't know who did it. I don't think I would have done it. Either way, the children rested well that night, lulled to reverie by the musical shrieks and gurgles. They all rested well that night, one way or another.

Years past and some managed to survive the creche, but Nox was never forgotten. Before I left the city, I asked one of Nox's old comrades what he did on the surface. He said he'd been a great fighter. Said he'd curried favour with the nobility and respect from his men. Said he'd been given the position in the creche as a sort of retirement scheme for good service. Said he was a smart man, too, a scholar of sorts - believed in education.

To the children, Nox was a monster. That was their reality. To his men, well, he'd been a good leader. To the nobility, a useful man. Which one of these was the true Nox? Were they all true? None? I don't know.

Anyway, I don't think I'm telling you this as a parable of justice. Maybe there's something deeper here.

I don't know

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