Aemon set his utensils down, belching loudly. Fuck all if he cared whose sensibilities he offended at this juncture. As “The Condemned”, he should be permitted a degree of latitude.
It was the last consideration he’d receive from The Protectorate. He’d devoted his entire life to flaunting their rules, defying their edicts and, generally, pissing them off as many ways as one might conceive of. His fate already sealed, he could still “rage against the machine” during his guaranteed appeal to a larger audience than his writings might ever otherwise reach.
The clock clicked to the appointed time, offset by the jangle of keys. He rose to his feet, muttering, “Let’s get this over with.”
The door opened only far enough to allow Procurator Valdanka to enter. “Sit Aemon, we must talk. No hearing, no forum for your heresy, today. Your conviction and your refusal to rebut it have already been logged into the Central Database. I am here merely as a courtesy.”
Aemon’s laughter echoed in the small space. “This is why The Protectorate is doomed to the dustbin of ignominy, Valdanka. Your kind will never understand. You can kill the man but not the idea. My legacy is secure!”
Valdanka offered him a mocking smile. “Actually, Aemon, science once again trumps heresy. With the introduction of a newly-developed aerosol agent, by this time tomorrow, no one will recall you ever existed. I wanted you to die with that knowledge.”
His snickers made a sardonic counterpoint to Aemon’s horrified expression.