What will the human race be like hundreds, even thousands of years in the future? What does identity mean if your consciousness is digital? Exactly how snarky can an artificial intelligence be? Jamie Wahls explores these questions and more in a story about one big diamond and the fate of a species.
For the Children
by Jamie Wahls
The explosion rocked the ship. Air gushed from the hole, salting the cold vacuum with fire and oxygen and fish. Riva was squeezed out the hole, her body pulped and frozen and in a hundred other ways destroyed in ways evolution hadn’t planned for.
She woke up.
“Dammit,” she said.
Memory loss 0.003%, apologized the ship. New body ready in four minutes.
“Ugh,” groaned Riva, exasperated. One thing after another.
With her mental hands she seized the viewing eyes of the ship and dragged them into her head. The pleasantly ambiguous background of the space between flesh cut away, and her camera eyes fixed on the hole in her ship’s side.
A jagged diamond the size of mankind’s first space shuttle had opened her ship like a tin can. It was punctured through a hydrogen tank, through a cargo bay, through the cockpit, and into the aquarium.
#momo: nice one
#reaver: Shut up
#momo: no I mean that’s a real nice diamond
#momo: shame we found it so…ballistically
#reaver: Shut up
#momo: sorry about your fish though
#momo: hey, you okay?
#reaver: Yeah. Died, lost 3 delta.
#momo: oof, steep
#reaver: Catch me up. Was I doing anything important before I died?
#momo: eh, not really. Basically Humanity chewed us out because they want to get going already. You told them to hold their collective horse-analogues. “If you think you can do it better, come out here and do it, ya crotchety beam-of-light people.”
#momo: “Now get off my lawn, ya damn kids. Granny Riva is working.”
#momo: And I think you said something about how much you loved those fish