Degrees of Freedom (Samuil Petrovitch)
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Winner of the 2012 Philip K. Dick Award
The Six Degrees of Petrovitch
Michael is an AI of incalculable complexity trapped under the remains of Oshicora tower. Petrovitch will free him one day, he just has to trust Michael will still be sane by the time he does.
Maddy and Petrovitch have trust issues. She's left him, but Petrovitch is pretty sure she still loves him.
Sonja Oshicora loves Petrovitch too. But she's playing a complicated game and it's not clear that she means to save him from what's coming.
The CIA wants to save the world. Well, just America, but they'll call it what they like.
The New Machine Jihad is calling. But Petrovitch killed it. Didn't he?
And the Armageddonists tried to kill pretty much everyone by blowing the world up. Now, they want to do it again.
Once again, all roads lead back to Petrovitch. Everyone wants something from him, but all he wants is to be free...
hole, one foot inside first, then feeling the sharp edges pressing into his chest and back. Slowly, he worked his way in, until he was able to wriggle free and bring his other leg after him. The interior of Container Zero boomed with his footsteps. “Be careful,” she said, and threaded his coat through to him. He took it and pulled it around him, then turned to face the Last Armageddonist. 6 Petrovitch stepped slowly over, forcing his eyes to adjust to the low light levels, and flicking
shoulder. “We’re getting out of here. All of us. Including Michael. This,” and he pointed up and down the tunnel with his right hand, draped over Lucy’s shoulder, “this isn’t how I’d planned it. We were supposed to show a clean pair of heels, just slip away in the night in a ‘my work here is done’ sort of way. Now, we’re going to be born in blood and fire whether we like it or not.” “Doesn’t sound good.” “Meh. We’ll be fine. It’s everyone else I’m worried about, especially the ones who get
down, and telling them I still need them. Which I do.” “I can do all that, but it won’t make a difference.” “It will to me.” “No. Because you’ll be dead soon enough.” She caught his gaze and held it. “I can’t protect you any longer. Everything I’ve done, everything I’ve tried to do: it’s come unraveled because you’re too stubborn, too independent, too good at getting out of the trap I set for you. I thought I’d thought of, if not everything, enough. I was wrong.” Petrovitch blinked in
probably going to kill us both now.” Petrovitch stood up, the back of his legs pushing hard against the chair seat and shoving it across the floor. He dragged his fingers through his greasy hair and scratched at his scalp. He picked up his empty water bottle and crinkled it with his fingers before throwing it ineffectually at the line of windows. He watched it fall short, and scowled at it for not producing the satisfying sound he felt he needed. “Even if you hadn’t shopped him straightaway,
on, come on!” A hand reached over the lip of the hole, and gripped the jagged edge. Sharp stone and iron cut into her palm, but she used the hold all the same. She put her other hand over and flailed for something to hang on to. Petrovitch caught her wrist and jammed his feet against the soft rock, pulling hard. He felt himself sliding, and her with him. The soles of his boots banged against the outside of the shaft, and he locked his knees. She was still slipping, and he wasn’t strong enough