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Lt. Illyan in Distress

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Sir: in your footsteps I was ever mindful
still to hold my post free from all attachment.
Agents are not men, never granted conscience.
I know my duty.

Yet I crackle, yet with a plasma fire I
burn, paralysis from a nerve disruptor
seizes skin; my ears rumble unrelenting;
strobe-flashes blind me.

All neutrality dissipates. The knowledge
that I might --no -- am touched is all-consuming.
Ah, forgive me, Captain, come now to aid me,
just as you once did

when, indignant, I let my outrage creep out.
You descended down from our masters' council,
gently chastising with a father's sternness:
"What is it, Simon?

What's the grief that now has you all a-flutter?
What injustice now makes you shy your orders?
Never fear. It will always be my
part to remind you.

Like a country girl 'just a little pregnant',
it seems insignificant, a private
thought whose objectivity's almost unim-
paired. But the baby

grows. No grudge, no scruple will find a father;
Lords take vengeance or they deny and leave you
unprotected, cold with imperial ire to
freeze on the scaffold.

But if you smart now, soon their necks will feel it;
If they scorn you, soon they will come a-begging.
Vor may intrigue, duel: let them kill each other.
Your duty 's memory."

I remember, sir. Be that voice as well, now!
Keep me sane by holding me to dispassion.
Keep me to my task, and through all the dangers
pilot my oath true.