The Archetype




Prompt by source combat doll

There were many built like her, but she was the archetype. Experimental technology deemed too dangerous or too high-maintenance for her production-model sisters, and an intellect backed with true artificial intelligence made her formidable, even among newer models. The navy deemed her too expensive to produce.

“Well, money isn’t everything, my dears,” she whispered into the headset.

The sizzle and hum of a railgun’s charge reverberated through her suit; dimming the internal lighting in her helmet.

The blinding flash a slug, accelerated to near-c velocities filled her view, and she felt the immense recoil shatter the asteroid behind her. Her suit and internal systems blared stress alarms.

Millions of kilometers away, the cruiser vanished in a pinprick of light. Money, indeed, wasn’t everything. Maybe the navy would learn to stop wasting it chasing her.

But probably not.