The Emperor’s final message to the People and the Stars

Some more flash-fiction courtesy of Elegy for a Dead World. Later on tonight, there will also be a podcast:

To my loyal subjects: After much reflection on the way the war is going for us and our enemies, I have decided to resort to the unthinkable:

Declare peace.
At 2500h today, I have ordered our military forces to stand down and begin an orderly withdrawal behind our pre-war bordes, and for my government to convey to our enemies that from this point forward, we will not fight anymore.
To ensure the safety of our people, of our country and to stabilize the region, we declared war on our neighbours and their ideologies. It was furthest from our minds that we should become the very thing we hate most: Tyrants, dictators and murderers.
But what was intended to be a short, victorious war has become a quagmire of blood. Despite our honorable forces‘ best efforts, our country’s faith in the cause, and our enemies supposed inferiority.
Ten million people have died on our world alone. Despite this sacrifice, nothing has changed and this universe has become a darker place for it.
Here, the enemy has has stood strong but suffered greatly. There, a thousand of our finest children lie dead, with them, the children of our enemies.

Additionally, our enemies have created better weapons and defences than we have thought possible, which has taken even more of our children from us.
In honor of those who have fallen protecting our world, we will erect a monument containing the essences of ther souls. This will serve as a reminder of their sacrifices, channel our resolve into brighter channels and will allow us to achieve a greater good.

All eyes are now on us. When you, my loyal subjects, take the steps towards peace, others will follow your lead and mindless war will be followed by golden peace. The peace this world and its neighbours deserve.
We are the ones paving the way for peace, for a brighter future for the entire sector of the galaxy. In a thousand years, our blood and sweat will be forgotten, but the peace we started shall remain and shine like a beacon in the cold void of space.
Let our entire world continue with one voice, ever certain that, though we have suffered greatly and have brought great suffering, our people are still united as one and still have hope and dreams for a better future for us. But this future can only be created if we not only think of our planet and our civilization, but realize that this peace must include our neighbours. It must include them in a way they choose, not one we force upon them.
Today, we are eclipsed by other worlds, but one day soon, our star will shine brighter than ever. It’s light being strengthened by the peace, that emaneted from one of the worlds which are its children.
This is my final decree. I have started this war and tonight, my soul essences will join with the ones already infused in the foundation of the monument. I shall face their judgement. The government has been instructed to choose a new Emperor, may his reign be one of greater wisdom and peace than mine was.