“So, before I ate the Karkans, I caught some memories from their minds," the Destroyer said. "And let me tell you, their game beat this monotonous—”
“You don’t have to play!” Jeska said.
Jeska would have been the Destroyer’s target, if she had been born five hundred years earlier.
From the dawn of human civilization to about the 22nd century, a nanobot-sharpened dart through the heart would have meant instant death to any human—not that nanobot-sharpened darts were common on Earth near the dawn of human civilization.
But at the end of the 22nd century, after the development of the nanobot cloud, things changed.
Jeska-Bel DotCom wasn’t just a post-cloud human; she was a post-cloud human from a rich, rich family. For her, a dart to the heart would mean momentary pain and ten seconds of rapid cloud surgery.
Nothing short of massive trauma or multiple organ failure could kill her. Her internal medical cloud was the best mommy and daddy could buy.
“Shouting is not necessary, Jeska,” Prnei said, trying to keep the peace.
Prnei wasn’t the Destroyer’s target either. The dart would kill Prnei if it struck the central nerve cluster under the skin between his two large, red eyes.
But the Destroyer had observed Prnei’s reflexes. Prnei had lightning in his limbs, and he could swat the dart away with ease.
That left one crewmember.
“As I was saying, the Karkan’s game beat—,” the Destroyer said.
“CHIRP!” said Riox, still face down, asleep in his cards.
“—this—” the Destroyer said.
“—CHIRP!—” Riox said again.
“—CHIRP! CHIRP!” Riox said.
The Destroyer waited for Riox to stop snoring. At the start of the game, Riox had put up a valiant effort to stay awake. Then his condition overcame him.