"They're known throughout five systems, now, these rare
baguettes of Earth—unutterably blue
as that sad legend's skies, the shattered hue
of starlight failing. Diamonds everywhere
lose fire beside them; kings & trophy brides
alike demand them. What more need be said?
Choose profit. Or choose principle, instead,
but understand those rumors were denied
by almost every government concerned."
That's when the outworld trader turned away,
his features pale … & flaming in his mind
the holocaust those strange ships left behind:
whole nations razed to carbon in a day,
his lover's last blue gaze before she burned.