What makes a hero? The Drabbecast brings you an original commissioned story by Cat Rambo this week called “The Hands of Heroes.”
The thing is, I was never a hero. The first wave of aliens taught me that. The war with them – my older brothers became heroes there, one died in the stand-off at Ucer-25, and we never did discover what happened to the other. My parents celebrated them both, burned scarlet and gold candles that made the house smell like flaming trees and sulphur, every weekend without fail…
Over the years, Tikka’s job as a Minor Propagandist for the planet Porcelain’s Bureau of Tourism had shaped her way of thinking. She dealt primarily in quintets of attractions, lists of five distributed by the Bureau: Five Major China Factories Where the Population of Porcelain Can Be Seen Being Created; Five Views of Porcelain’s Clay Fields; Five Restaurants Serving Native Cuisine at Its Most Natural.
Every few day-cycles, it receives hate-scented lace in anonymous packages. It opens the bland plastic envelope to pull one out, holding the delicate fragment between two forelimbs. Contemplating it before folding it again to put away in a drawer. Four drawers filled so far; the fifth is halfway there.
“Traitor,” say some of the smells, rotting fruit and acid. “Betrayer. Turncoat. One who eats their own young.” Others are simply soaked in emotion: hate and anger, and underneath the odor of fear. It lets the thoughts, the smells, the tastes fill it, set its own thoughts in motion. Then it goes downstairs and sits with the other whores, who make room uneasily for it.
The village of Kriegerwald on the shores of Lake Teufel high in the Swiss Alps couldonly be reached by foot or ski lift, which suited the villagers. Each villager possessed broadforeheads and flat noses with strange guttural accents even the people in the valley below barelyunderstood. They also had a singular tourist attraction, popular enough to fund villagemaintenance but not to flood them or stir a desire for greater accessibility.
This trifecta episode of the Drabblecast features three stories, each exploring humanity’s reaction to strange and threatening situations. In the first story, The Frozen People, Swiss villagers sustain their existence by selling views of their 7000 year old perfectly preserved frozen warrior. When lightening strikes, everyone’s life changes. In Sheltered, a fast approaching asteroid threatens to wipe out all of mankind. This sends many burrowing deep into the ground, while a few brave individuals stay above to revel in the cataclysm. Interactions between the groups take on an ironic twist. In Order to Conserve speaks to governments and people as they are threatened by the loss of the most precious of all natural resources . and it’s not oil or water.
Of note: this episode marks the debut of Twit-Fic/Twabbles.