Friday, June 29, 2018

Conversations with an Armory, by Garth Nix

Solaris, September 2017 (in Infinity Wars:Infinity Project #6)

Three military officers are at the entrance to an armory, or rather Armory, run by a sentient AI, needing to get in. We don't at first know exactly where we are, and circumstances come out gradually, as officers under stress try to explain themselves to an AI controlling a sensitive military facility that was partially shut down more than a decade ago.

They're on a ship, and after some frustration on both sides, they manage to identify an officer on the ship that the AI recognizes as being in its chain of command...who unfortunately is in very bad condition. Not really functional at all.

They rig a cable to reconnect the Armory AI to the ship brain, and the situation starts to clarify.

The former warship is now a hospital ship. Most of the weapons have been removed, the armory was about half shut down, and all the personnel on board are physically impaired. And a hostile force is approaching, with no more suitable forces available, or reachable in time, to meet it.

This is very much a story of people pulling together in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges. This isn't a shoot'em'up. It's characters working together in a crisis. I loved this one.

Recommended.

I bought the anthology in which it is included.