System Collapse by Martha Wells EPUB & PDF – eBook Details Online
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- Author: Martha Wells
- Language: English
- Genre: Science Fiction
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DR. BHARADWAJ TOLD ME once that she thought I hated planets because of
the whole thing with being considered expendable and the possibility of
being abandoned. I told her it was because planets were boring.
Yeah, that was a lie. Objectively, planets are less boring than staring at
walls and guarding equipment in a mining installation. But planets tend to
be less boring in the bad way.
Planets where you have to investigate the probably-not-empty, possiblyalien-contaminated Pre–Corporation Rim occupation site while wearing an
environmental suit instead of armor are especially not boring in the bad
way, maybe the worst way.
Especially when you could have been wearing armor, but you decided to
be weird about it instead.
I should back up.
File access 47.43 hours earlier
So the next time I get optimistic about something, I want one of you to
punch me in the face. Okay, not really, because let’s be real, that would end
badly. Maybe remind me to punch myself in the face.
On the team feed, ART said, SecUnit, status report.
Or punch ART in the face. I sent back, I wish I could punch you in the
ART said, I wish you could try.
Yes, I know it was just humoring me. And yes, we were still on the
stupid alien-contaminated lost colony planet despite the fact that we (me,
ART, our humans, but mostly me) really wanted out of this system.
ART added, I still need a status report.
I said, Status: in progress. I’d been sending it drone video plus it had
access to my visual data, so it knew I was still currently moving through
tumbled rockfall at the foot of a low plateau, with an agricultural planting
area to my right. Whatever was planted there was green and taller than me,
and providing adequate cover from our currently designated Hostile One.
It was midmorning planetary time and the cloud cover, which was a byproduct of the terraforming, was patchy enough for the sun to come through.
ScoutDrone1 was overhead giving me a vantage point of the
ongoing situation, so I could see the router installation on another rise past
the far end of the planted field. The building itself was smallish, about the
size of one of ART’s shuttles, but it was enclosed in a much bigger
protective shell made of artificial stone. It looked like a big cylindrical
boulder, placed at the foot of the low plateau, which had crumbled into a
slope of slabs of rock and actual boulders. (Why artificial stone? Because
the dead people from Adamantine Explorations had meant for everything to
look pretty once the colony build was complete. I don’t know why that’s
more depressing than them doing a shitty job and intending to abandon their
colonists, but it just was.)
The thick green flora waved in the slight breeze under the colony’s air
bubble, and despite my scan and the drone’s scan, it was making me
nervous. At least it was making me nervous for a survival-based reason
instead of … redacted.
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