The Nanobots in the sleeves of Gorland’s guns were chewing him some more ammo, but the hillside was all just ash. He had to fall back. He fired off a series of round to disrupt the nanocloud that was coming down from the sky. A huge quantity of bullets whipping through can thoroughly confuse the air currents, but the pile wasn’t slowing much.

He threw a grenade. A more forceful disruption of the wind. “Computer!” he shouted, “Defenses!”

A white wisp of steamy looking smoke spiraled up to meet the black swarm. There were swirls of backwards motion, and the air started to crackle.

Three men rushed out from behind a shed. He hit them with both guns. The fat one imploded like a bad tomato while the other two were just torn apart.

A helicopter lowered it’s rope to him, but the black cloud sent an amoebic foot through the white mists to chew the skin off every surface in the helicopter including the pilot and soldiers in its bay, in seconds. Screams and then it crashed, flaming some twenty feet in front of him.

He turned and left that flaming corridor behind.

Firing then looking as he ran, he made his way through the neighborhood. Buildings were melting and smoking behind him. He had to make his way to the magnetic disruptor, or he’d be ash along with everything else.

Thirteen deployments. He wasn’t superstitious, mostly, but when you sleep in seconds, and you kill everyone you meet, strange ideas get into your head. Maybe this one was unlucky. Or maybe the enemy had just gotten better at counter-hacking the nanotech. He felt the early tingle on his skin that told him the outer perimeter of the cloud had overtaken him, the scout bugs were taking their bite.

Blam! Blam! Blamblamblamblamblamblam! All dead. A family. A woman and two or three children, definitely no more than three. Innocents, no doubt, if there were such beings.

Ripples crossed his vision, as he entered the area of magnetic disruption. He pulled off the tattered remains of his coat and ash and dying nano-bugs, indistinguishable from the ash, fell to the ground. He vomited, a small splash of organic life in the wasteland. The magnet tore robots from the atmosphere, but it also played rough with the human physiology. The pink puddle sizzled and greyed, the still active nanobots on the ground chewing what they could.

He had to go. The magnet would ruin him, and even if he could bear it, the drones would be coming soon. He surveyed his horizon. Flat empty grey and black. He picked a patch of sky that looked clear, and ran for it, guns firing.

–Dan Kilian

Mr. Bingles

Regarding the Dawn of Language and thus the Dawn of History as a Continuous Narrative of Events, Places, People, and Things


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