Shara glanced nervously over her shoulder and ducked into a used clothing shop on the main boulevard. There were very few of those left since the Godmachine had limited all citizen apparel to three specific outfits. Shara always felt somehow comforted seeing all the old blouses and dresses with their rainbow of colors, and feeling their unique textures, even though they were only sold as historic collectibles and were illegal to wear in public.
Today she didn’t notice the clothes at all. Today she felt annoyed and confined by the low ceiling of the shop, and smelled an unpleasant, musty odor she had never realized was there. Today was different. It was to be her last.
She stared out through the big front picture window as Transbus 7 glided silently past the corner where she was supposed to die. She looked at her timeband. “There, it’s done,” she thought, feeling an unexpectedly exhilarating sense of freedom. She cherished the feeling, if only for a brief moment, wishing it could last forever. She knew she could not hope to evade the PETs for long. The Godmachine collected a continuous stream of data from the Data Analysis Fusion Towers that covered Plixon. Her violation of her Daily Duties would be downloaded to local PETs within minutes. In what seemed to Shara like only seconds, she noticed two uniformed men approaching the store from across the boulevard. Each wore the familiar black leather jumpsuit and black visored helmet with a yellow triangle containing a single open eye on the front.
Feeling an uncommon surge of courage and defiance, Shara stepped deliberately through the door of the store and toward the approaching PETs. When the first officer pulled out a small weapon Shara instinctively stopped walking. It wouldn’t have made any difference if she had tried to run. When he fired a short blast of green light on her, she felt like her feet were frozen to the sidewalk.
The second uniformed man said, “Shara Macor, you stand accused of a capital violation of your Daily Duties for this, the fifth day of Tarill.” Shara could only listen. “Specifically, Duty #4—self-deletion by walking in front of Transbus 7 at precisely 4.25 this morning. This Duty shall be carried out now by PET officer 43325 at 4.29 on the fifth day of Tarill, year 5442 AF.”
With no further comment he trained a cylindrical device at Shara and pressed a small button on its side. A soft hum preceded a wave of transparent energy that enveloped Shara. The energy came alive, turned a translucent blue and swirled quickly about her for several seconds before becoming opaque and shrinking slowly inward on itself, getting smaller and smaller until it finally disappeared. Shara was gone.
Review from Twisted SciFi:
The planet Mars is one of the most pervasive images in Science Fiction.
Why is Mars still prevalent in Science Fiction today? I suspect it’s because it’s the most accessible and most likely place for Earthlings to inhabit besides the moon. Recent projects like Mars One and the landing of NASA’s most sophisticated Martian rover only serve to reinforce this.
In Jack Thompson’s Godmachine, not only are you treated to a Martian adventure, but you actually get two stories in one. Click here to read complete review
Reviews from Amazon:
Heart-pounding action! Great read for fans of Science Fiction
If you’ve been following the story of the recent landing of NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover, or if you’re a fan of NASA’s Apollo missions, they you’ll almost certainly enjoy reading Godmachine.
As a bonus for all readers, along with the tale of the astronauts’ journey to Mars, Thompson cleverly weaves in the tale of the Godmachine. Both stories are heart-pounding and action packed.
These stories are skillfully crafted in such a way that Thompson is able to make us take an introspective look at our own human strengths and weaknesses.
I highly recommend this book for fans of Science Fiction and Space Travel, or for anyone who’s just looking for a quality book that’s fun to read.
Great Nail Biter
This was a great “computer takes over the world” story that I really enjoyed. Although I was tempted to skip ahead to discover how things turned out, I’m glad I didn’t because I would have missed the ride. Congratulations for a great book.
Available for $4.99 at:
Copyright © 2011 Jack Thompson