Lucian’s head rests on a cool white pillow. For a final time she reaches out a metallic hand and touches his cheeks as if in parting. But its touch is cold and lifeless. Discomforting.
In The Promise of the Child, Tom Toner mixes far-flung space opera with magic realism and a myriad of other science fiction sub-genres to create a delightfully weird tale that leaves me with an impression of its memorable uniqueness.
All eight parts of the Vek Transcendence story … but this is just a small part of the entire Vek Origins story contained in the Infinispace mythos.
The Cleaner is basically an independent contractor of mayhem and improvisation, sowing chaos throughout the Continuum for the benefit of only one person. Himself. Tonight’s mayhem? Avatar kidnapping and ransom.
While a Technician might kill quickly from the front, a Matriarch will take her time, slowly stalking from the shadows and killing in the most cunning and torturous way they can devise.
But something at the back of Kalki’s mind troubled him as he stood on the rise surveying the ship in the blue gloom and listening to his own exhales gurgle away to the surface. It was like a subtle itch that couldn’t be scratched.
The Technicians had managed to isolate it behind a wall of ever-shifting encryption that, in our minds, appeared as a sphere of polished obsidian interlaced with cracks showing the data beneath.
Far to the south, just over the horizon, a discrete column of black smoke drifted and dissipated in the prevailing winds of early morning. Black smoke. That was odd.
Many of the Vek were lulled into a sense of security, thinking Ascension had left us or decided to capitulate. These slipped into truesleep. Perhaps that was its plan, to lull us into a sense of complacency, then strike.
Sometimes you’ve got your timid, broken, ready to piss their pants types … if they even wear pants. Other times you’ve got your defiant “Screw you, you can’t touch me!” types who carry a copy of the antiquated Troxian Convention in their back pocket … if they even wear pants.
Many Vek succumbed to the AI plague in the last moments as it made efforts to sabotage our plans. Some Vek committed suicide knowing they had been overly compromised … others were regrettably terminated by the Technicians.
The Necro laughed maniacally and mechanically as he swiveled his masked head back to the balcony on which sat a now despondent boy. Serves the sniveling rat right for being outdoors during Soulstice.