Equally disturbing was that there might be forty-one other balls hidden somewhere in the Solar System … perhaps more. It was not a comforting epiphany.
He grasped at the thin chain around his neck and pulled the miniature data shard from beneath his coat. A bright blue status light blinked back at him from a chip of what looked like irregular obsidian. The genesis of his revenge was intact. The reminder was no longer needed, eight years was enough.
Every Sunday, for years, I’d fired up its rumbling and willing engine and journeyed to the countryside to visit my white-haired uncle. The VMX, a gift from him, was his dearest dream … a mechanical anachronism from a better vanished time.
Crab shows up and vanishes as he pleases. Yet he does so at the strangest of times, enigmatically appearing as if he knows that she needs him or wants to see him. Pets always seem to have a sixth sense in that regard.
Nullspace Travel Advisory: The inhabitants do not take a liking to those who step on their shadows.
They approached the terminal warily, looking through the lattice at ground level to ensure they could see no one else in the vault. Hamlet secretly wished he could connect with Gravedigger via his bio.node, but there was no hope this deep under the ground…
What I’m standing on now is a black, jagged monolith thrusting from the barren volcanic plains of Arsensia III like a decayed tooth of the world, its lower portion cloaked in an atmosphere of choking sulfur dioxide, and its summit extending into the vacuum of space. Who in their right mind makes a journey of eighty-five light-years to climb a barren rock cloaked in a deadly atmosphere?
The rain was starting to let up, it’s job to cleanse Street City of obsolete and spurious data just about complete. It was an aesthetic method of maintenance utilized to keep immersion intact. But to her it still felt deceptively cold and wet.
14.7 ± 0.3 psi, surface, Earth standard, milspec, per contract. It was a lofty goal, but one that was drummed into us by the Triocracy on every terraforming colony. Never once have we actually hit that target, but we never stop trying…
… lull them into a sense of security and purpose, to distract them from most of their miserable existences … not to make them question their keepers. The keepers frowned on that. The sleepers must sleep, even if they don’t know they slumber.
He looked over the edge and scanned the surrounding glow for signs of Collectors. Gravedigger better goddamn pay up. This avatar heist started out as a cakewalk, but quickly turned into a shit sandwich.
They continued up the daunting stairs, their shadows becoming less ghostly as they neared the window. Even the atmospheric conditioners this high in the Spire could not keep up with the incessant dirt and dust that plagued this dreary planet…