Edge of Starlight: Paranoid Company

Robert Quick

Where the -@!# did my muse go?

Writer, dreamer, knight, shackled by entertainment . . . and people.


“I saw you dock. Nasty looking black eye. That rock you towed in do that to you?” Captain Umski asked, rubbing at his own eyes.

Captain Torrance sipped his rye. “Yup, fly ball out of left field.”

“Really? Sensor malfunction?”

“Ship A.I. says no.”

“You trust it?”

“I've found him to be useful.”

“That's not a yes.”

“It's not a no either. Despite ghost stories and unsubstantiated rumors, I've never seen a single report of a ship A.I. going rogue. If ships are their bodies, we're like symbiotes--”

“--that tell them what to do and where to go. More like parasites in control if you ask me but never mind that. I'm saying there's a reason beyond tradition that we don't use dupes, and that we required to retire them on their tenth 'birthday'. How many A.I.'s have you worked with?”

“Two as captain and perhaps a half a dozen more on ships before that. Where is this going?"

“Did any of them seem off to you? Like maybe they weren't all there? None lagged at the wrong time, no glitches resulting in people dying?”


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