PodCastle 88: Another End of the Empire

by Tim Pratt.
Read by Cheyenne Wright.
Originally Published in Strange Horizons.

“I am here,” Mogrash said. “Give me the bad news.”

“A child dwells in the village of Misery Chin, in the mountain
provinces to the east. If allowed to grow to manhood, he will take
over your empire, overthrow your ways and means, and send you from the
halls of your palace forever.”

Mogrash relaxed. This was, at least, not an immediate threat‚ not like
the pronouncement of metastasized bone cancer she’d given his
grandfather. He sighed. “So I’m expected to send my Fell Rangers to
the mountains, raze the village, leave no stone upon a stone, enslave
the women, and kill all the younglings to stop this dire prophecy from
coming to pass.”

“It’s what your father would have done.”

“Yes, but I’m more modern than he was. Besides, we’ve seen this happen
a thousand times‚ the attempt to stop the prophecy will make it come
to pass, won’t it?”

Rated PG for superseded oracles, despots past their expiration dates and probability witches.