Author : Julian Miles

“Dear Tara,

If you’re reading this, then I have just died again. I am sorry that I will miss Luke’s sixth birthday and even more grieved over missing our eighth anniversary. That brings me to evens now, I promise to try and make the ninth.

Never forget that I love you, and I only do what I do for you and the children’s safety. Yes, I know about Eva. The update reached me just as we dropped out of Hirsch. So I guess that I am going to be in serious trouble for missing her birth as well.

By the time you read this, I’ll be wombed on board the Fulminator or Inceptor, so you can leave updates there and they’ll drop them into the personal feeds, but remember to keep the words simple. You used the word ‘disgusting’ last time and it hung my induction up for three weeks while the meds unravelled my fixation with multi-syllable constructs.

Time to finish as we are about to launch the hammers; I’ve finally qualified for a Versio Quatro, the only upside I can see from dying heroically so much. My death-point learning and psychological resilience is too useful to waste, apparently.

So until I race up the path into your arms again, be strong and kiss the kids for me.

All my love,


Tara put the worn note back in its stasis frame as the sounds of childish argument started in the kitchen. Sure enough, Luke and Jack were fighting again. She sent Luke to clean his room while she firmly put Jack down for a nap. Another few months and she’d need a matron droid to help control him; Two metres tall, two hundred pounds of muscle making for three, the mind of an eight year old with the sleep cycle of a two year old.

Jack had been on the Fulminator when the Borsen had punched a hundred metre warpcore through it. She should feel lucky, that her man had died so many times in the line of duty that Command had actually bothered to retrieve him from the wreckage, the sole patient saved. He had been ex-vitro for too long when they got him back to advanced regen, so he had to finish growing back the long way.

All the memories were there, but the release was keyed to physical brain age. He only remembered what he knew at that age, with occasional prescience. Thankfully the insights drawn from Jack’s prescience were enough for Command to pay his family’s way for the next twenty years.

It was going to be difficult, raising her man to be the husband she had loved.

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