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Preview — Tiamat's Wrath by James S.A. Corey
Or that we lost Amos. Or that we lose me. Or Alex. Or you. But that’s going to happen. We’re all going to lose each other eventually, and that’s been true since before we were a crew. That’s what being born means. Everything else is just specifics.
All you need to do is leave out the mercy, yeah? Then when you put people into it and they get chewed to nothing, it’s the person’s fault. Not the rules. Everything we do that’s worth shit, we’ve done with people. Flawed, stupid, lying, rules-breaking people. Laconians making the same mistake as ever. Our rules are good, and they’d work perfectly if it were only a different species.”
There were no old levels in the station, because there was no old. On Ceres, there were neighborhoods built in the excavations where the great engines that had spun the asteroid up had been housed. On Ganymede, there were levels of tunnels that had been abandoned in the war and never recovered. On Earth, there were cities built on the ruins of the cities before them, layer after layer back through millennia. Auberon was a theme park version of itself. A prefabricated culture that could have been assembled anywhere with equal cheerfulness. It didn’t feel human.
He’d had the same tone of voice, the same sense of having been overwhelmed by events, the same anger in the face of implacable reality. There was something weirdly comforting about the idea that a humble grocer and the most powerful man in a galaxy-wide empire could have something so fundamental in common. Without thinking, she reached out and took Trejo’s hand. He yanked it back like she’d burned him.
It was the single central argument that the universe had made to her through her whole life, and she was only now seeing it clearly: Wars never ended because one side was defeated. They ended because the enemies were reconciled. Anything else was just a postponement of the next round of violence. That was her strategy now. The synthesis of her arguments with Bobbie. The answer she wished they’d found together, when they were both alive. Once she reached
She had people whose only duty was to cook her food, to educate her, to see that her clothes were cleaned and put away. Nobody had the job of actually caring about her. The only one who even noticed her was a dog.
“I want to see Jim again. And Amos. I want this war over with, and a real peace established. The kind where people can be angry with each other and hate each other and no one has to die over it. That’d be enough.”