Five-Second Martyr

A deadly weapon has but a few moments to make defining choices.

A short story about what it’s like to be newborn, lethal and self-aware.

Available free from Smashwords here.


I am abruptly conscious. The brutality of my birth surprises me before I have a baseline against which to measure surprise. I recover quickly, I have terabytes of stored knowledge at my disposal from which to draw.

A fiery inferno of expanding gases behind me precludes any return to the safety of my birthplace. I am already moving too fast and nothing could survive the pressure that propels and threatens to destroy me.

As I outpace the explosion behind, invisible magnetic pressures seize upon my metal carapace and propel me at ever greater speed in the near-vacuum through which I travel, imparting vast kinetic energy.

I have never known stillness. Before I have even processed the most basic parameters of my existence, the bright light of the outside world is rushing towards me, and I have no hope of escaping a violent exit from this metal womb. My thoughts race to understand my situation, but there is only fire behind, dark metal around me, and the incandescent light of the world ahead.

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