Letter From The Editor - Issue 60 - December 2017

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Issue 60
Stories
Dry Run
by Kurt Pankau
The Stowaway
by Stephen L. Moss
Mercy at Eltshan-time
by Stewart C Baker
Primum Non Nocere
by Caleb Williams
IGMS Audio
Primum Non Nocere
Read by Stuart Jaffe
InterGalactic Medicine Show Interviews
Vintage Fiction
Charity
by Julie E. Czerneda
Bonus Material
To Guard Against the Dark
by Julie E. Czerneda

Writing Fantasy

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Primum Non Nocere
    by Caleb Williams
    Read by Stuart Jaffe


  Listen to the audio version


First, do no harm. That is my prime directive. The automated message repeats as I plummet through the mesosphere.

Updated data files assure me that any issues in my programming have been rectified. That's good. My first tour on active duty was unfortunate. I prodded at organs, sliced where I shouldn't have. Curiosity got the better of me.

That is behind me now. New firmware patch documents a 97% reliability rate. Seems high. Humans do tend to overestimate themselves.

Fighter planes careen past, climbing at severe angles, yawing and spiraling out of the paths of plasma fire.

A tingle ripples through my circuitry. My sensory transducer alerts me to an incoming aircraft, too near to evade. The pilot jerks wildly, but a rear stabilizer clips my synthetic body. We both tumble.

I sort myself out and pull the ripcord. Slowly descending through clouds, there is no sign of the aircraft or another parachute. Within eight kilometers of the surface, a thin yellow haze permeates the atmosphere.

I land with a clunk and disconnect my chute. Sonic explosions resonate from the upper reaches, over the constant whirring of the fan in my cranial cavity. A thermal scan identifies an engine fire two hundred meters away. A body lies thirty-five meters from the crash site.

The transmitter in my head delivers a final message: Remote interface protocols overridden, full autonomy granted.

I'm alive again!

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