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Four hundred years in the future, time travel has been perfected and groundbreaking developments in Artificial Intelligence have been made. But is this a great step forward for humanity--or its ultimate downfall?
and punished immediately by the Curator’s security apparat; and Mansour is unlikely to be able to protect you even if she wants to. I emphasize, the New Republic is already on a low-key war footing, and attempting to leave now will be difficult.” “Oh shit.” “The situation is not irretrievable. I want you to cooperate fully with Mansour. Do your job and get out quietly. I will attempt to arrange for you to disembark safely once the fleet arrives. Remember, you are in more danger if you run
phone to his mouth, and whispered, “Do you want me to tell you a story?” By the end of that day, when the manna had begun to fall from orbit and men’s dreams were coming to life like strange vines blooming after rain in the desert, Rudi and his family— sick mother, drunken uncle, and seven siblings—were no longer part of the political economy of the New Republic. War had been declared. Deep in the outer reaches of the star system, the Festival’s constructor fleet created structure out
can’t hurt.” Everyone was on edge from not knowing for sure whether the metallic reflector they’d picked up was the time capsule from home. Maybe the drone would tell them, and maybe not. But the longer they waited, the more edgy everyone got, and the edgier they were, the more likely they were to make mistakes. “Looks pretty good to me. Engine idle at about one percent, fuel tanks loaded, ullage rail and umbilical disconnects latched and ready, instrument package singing loud on all channels.
straight in on the primary,” said Ilya. He looked almost bored; they’d rehearsed this a dozen times in the past three days alone. “Confirm positional fix, then give me a passive scan. Standard profile.” “Aye aye, sir. Nav confirmation; we have a star fix. Yes, we’re a good bit closer to the bucket than last time. I see a waste heat dump from Chancellor Romanoff; they’re through.” That cheered them up; even at ten gees constant acceleration, a miss of a couple of astronomical units could take
cover for you.“ Ten days. Rescue—if they didn’t stick him on a freighter under armed guard and ship him back to execution dock, and if Rachel wasn’t whistling in the face of a storm. “Query rescue.” “Diplomatic life belt big enough for two. Power level approaching shutdown: will try to send another relay later. Love you. Over.” “I love you, too,” he tapped hopefully, but there was no reply. A miriad of tiny gears whirred, clucked, and buzzed in a background hum of gray noise beneath