Integrity was on its knees, gasping its last breath, cut down and cast aside far too easily by the behemoth attacking the battlements of Decency Bridge.
At Integrity’s side lay Logic’s slaughtered corpse and Common Sense’s decapitated remains. Of Facts, there was barely a trace left to identify. At one time, Facts was a formidable warrior, easily repelling its feeble opponents. Now it had been swept aside as if no more than a troublesome fly.
Complacency was the cause. Complacency, greed, and the self-serving stewardship of rich men who cared nothing for their charges. For years, the behemoth whose name couldn’t be spoken had been kept at bay, sedated by the sentinels who now lay slain at its feet. For years, until the self-serving parasites fed the monster in plain sight, so not one of us can absolve ourselves of the blame, until it became the destructive giant now trying its best to demolish Decency Bridge.
One after another, the once respected guardians of Decency Bridge launched their attacks on the terrible beast. And one after another they were obliterated, the battleground littered with their discarded shells – Rationality, Tolerance, Knowledge, and that old stalwart, Reasoned Argument, all dead.
It seemed the end was inevitable. Every weapon in the armoury had been employed to no avail. None even so much as dented the rampaging monster.
The captain of the guard wearily removed his helmet and wiped his brow. ‘You know what? That’s it. I’ve had enough of this garbage. It’s way past time to do what we all know is really needed.’
‘You don’t mean?’ his lieutenant replied, shocked her captain would even hint at such a thing. This was not the way they normally did things.
‘Yes, I bloody do. Lower the drawbridge and let’s tackle this beast in the way we should have when it first reared its ugly head.’
It was only when the inhabitants of Decency Bridge finally allowed Patience to run out and confront the behemoth by bludgeoning it with its real name, Stupidity, that they could slap it back down again, knock it to its knees, and force it back into the dark depths where it belonged.