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Fiction snippet: Destroying Angels

Varna was the sword and I was the shield.

We fell, screaming, through a hole ripped in space, through a hole ripped through a billion years of history. It was a fall that lasted us forever, a fall that lasted an instant.

But it was a fall.

Call us angels, avatars of The Final Mind. Part of the end of all things, sent to bring that end closer. By force - if necessary.

Two asteroid-sized intelligences, full of nano-factories and cornucopia machines, full of the products of the end of time. We were ready to make our mark on yesterday, and shape it into a new tomorrow.

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The Vulgate Worlds sat in the cometary halo of a dying star: a red giant, guttering away its hydrogen in a final doomed attempt to stay alight. In a million years it would collapse and fade, just big enough to become a white dwarf. Until then, a posthuman clade or two would fill its empty spaces, diving armoured comets into the thin star stuff to steal the secrets of the ages.

Stein Gunarsson was from Kohlwahr. Once a back up world, now an expanding node in the wide open spaces of the superbrights, its ships sped across the stars, grazing lightspeed and exploring the myriad faces of humanity. Stein was one of the explorers, a transmitter in his skull beaming all his sensations to his ship, and then back across the stars to his real body, a cluster of chilled smart matter out on the edge of the Kohlwahr system.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
akicif
Aug. 3rd, 2004 03:50 am (UTC)
Nice bracketing!
Red giants usually get most of their energy from fusing helium, or even heavier elements, so running out of hydrogen in the core shouldn't be that big a problem. However, if the star's going to collapse to a white dwarf, then it has to be fairly light to start with and maybe doesn't have enough gravity to kick-start the helium fusion reaction, so the Vulgate Star must be somewhere between 1.1 and 1.3 solar masses [caveat: my last astronomy class was in the seventies].

Thoughts on the rest: I don't think the Eschaton is going to like your viewpoint character or Varna very much....

And "superbrights" - my first thought was an extreme kind of Atheist Fundamentalist who don't even believe in the anthropic principles. Curse Dawkins and Dennett for wordstealers!
sbisson
Aug. 3rd, 2004 04:24 am (UTC)
Re: Nice bracketing!
I was thinking about the expected life of a 1 to 1.5 solar mass star...

And no, my multiple eschatons are not happy at all! It's the start of what could be a novel length sequel to "Breaking The Wheel".
sbisson
Sep. 1st, 2004 04:03 pm (UTC)
Re: Nice bracketing!
Oh bugger. I seem to have writtne another scene from this...
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )