Ascension: Insurgence

Avatar Author: JonB Story writing: an unfortunate symptom of a leaky brain. Read Bio

Giant excavators crept slowly above, churning through the frigid regolith, as the conspiritors met deep beneath the surface.

“What you are suggesting, Cera”, said Ikal, “is mutiny. This satellite is still, technically, a military outpost – not a colony.”

“No!” He replied, angrily. “I am asserting our right of independence. We are not soldiers! Nor have we been for generations. And we have a moral obligation, to declare ourselves free.”

“We have a moral obligation to Earth and her subjects”, asserted Ret. “Without helium-3, life as we know it would simply not be possible. Nowhere else can it be extracted in such quantities.”

“But at what cost?” Cera spoke quietly. “An empire, built on slave labour.”

“As ever has been the case, from ancient times. Besides, Cera, you are mistaken. The noncons who mine are not slaves any more than the autoport which bore you here this evening; both are automatic, insensate. Robots.”

“Robots who were once human, before their cortices were ablated.”

“Never so”, replied Ikal.

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  1. Ahfl_icon THX 0477

    Ooh, I like the addition of the other side of the fence here. Feels very tense and intense, so nicely done on that count.

  2. Avatar HSAR

    Argh! No notification from Ficly. It would’ve made my last few lectures much more bearable knowing I had a sequel to look forward to.

    This is great. It does as all good science fiction should do – introduce novel extrapolations to drive narration forward and provide interesting and memorable settings.

  3. Avatar 32 ^2

    Great exchange. Believable.

  4. Avatar Pablo Vilas

    While skimming the story to abstract the info I wanted for my blog, I dismissed the helium-3 stuff as techno-babble. Tardily, I looked up helium-3. It is weird stuff that might indeed be useful in a future superconductor and fusion-based economy. And it is indeed more abundant in the regolith of an asteroid than on earth. JonB, I salute you. I just wish I’d done my homework before I started writing.

  5. Avatar HSAR

    Mistype – is/it in the fourth paragraph.

  6. Avatar JonB

    Thanks for spotting HSAR – corrected.

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