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  1. This is Not a War

From the recording one bright engine

chapter two: “This is Not a War”. And aboard Narcissus, that gravid moment before battalions are unleashed and screaming guns revived. Atop this massive, relentless smear of ink across the galaxy these are ideas more than sensations, but their weight is real enough. Anyone could steer, any competent sounding fool command. But still. From one hour to the next, a planet is cracked and subsumed. The Collective grows by an insignificant increment, each a click of the gears toward…what? No one had actually ever said. On this day, watching the meager swarms of resistance approach from below, what made the most sense was metastasis. Business, religion, morality, a debate for someone else. The attitude from the captain’s chair is as behavior would suggest – bureaucracy. Nothing to raise one’s pulse. Guileless routine. Even if, in all honesty, the next few moments would be abjectly, absolutely delicious. The little mob would pretend this is a war. They always do. One remote day, perhaps, when these sorties are winding down, a single prisoner will be taken. A break in protocol, for the first and finishing time, just to isolate a few seconds and say to one of them the inescapable. Player to pawn. This is the last face you will ever see.

Lyrics

This is Not a War

To crack a planet is to keep it lucid
Tight enough to choke
And skip the introducing
There is no sound here
But the rattle in your windows will call the point home
(the frame begins to moan)

Like the runner says
Not feeling it
All the sharp knives
Baby, just the first of the night
Like your runner says
You might be feeling it
Cut down to size
Baby, it's the first of the night

The first try is usually confession
Then it's on to rage
Messy (bullshit) tedious questions
Always ends the same way
And I like it best when they beg

Like the runner says
I got you feeling it
Faster gun survives
And hey, it's just the first of the night

Glimmer in the Arclight, the shape that was once your redoubt
It’s got me feeling it
It’s got me feeling it now

To take a future is to tie the thread loosely
Killing for the present
Is particularly juicy
This is when the core drops
And turns your starfield to black

I was never here
I’m not the puppeteer
And this is not a war

Like the runner says
Not feeling it
All eyes on the skies
Baby, just the first of the night
Like your runner says
You got me feeling it
All the sharp knives
Baby, it’s the first of the night

Like your runner says
Stage is sterilized and
Baby, you're the first one to die.