By Stephen Baxter
It's the 12 months 2030. The oceans have risen quickly, and shortly the total planet can be submerged. however the discovery of one other life-sustaining planet mild years away offers those that stay alive desire. just a couple of can be capable of make the journey-Holle Groundwater is likely one of the applicants. If she makes the reduce, she is going to reside. If now not, she is going to be left to stand a watery death...
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The strategium of his flagship was kept dark, the faint blue light of consoles and hololithic displays islands of light in the darkness. The Primarch of the Night Lords paid no attention to his surroundings, ignoring the pregnant pressure. of anticipation that bristled from every member of his bridge crew. A deck of worn cards sat on the softly glowing lectern before him, their edges scuffed and curled from decades of shuffling and dealing. Little more than a parlour game played by the indolent rich of Nostramo Quintus, he had since discovered that variations of these cards had been employed in the hives of Medea and by the tribes of the Franc as a means of divination in the time before Old Night had descended.
The Moon, the Martyr and the Monster lay in a triangular pattern. The King lay reversed at the feet of the Emperor on one side of the pattern, and on the other, also reversed, was the Dove – a card academics postulated was a symbol of hope. The card he had just dealt sat at the top of the pattern, a card that had changed little over the centuries and the meaning of which, though often misinterpreted, was unmistakable. Death. He heard footsteps and looked up to see Captain Shang approaching, clad in his battle plate and wrapped in his ceremonial black cape of gleaming patagium.
This was what Unity had brought, this and the near measureless expanse of worlds and dominions that it guided and administered. For two hundred years, the Emperor and his primarchs had fought to create the Imperium. They had waged the Great Crusade from star to star, to forge the empire of man, an epic undertaking they had all made without hesitation, because they believed, with utter conviction, in the bright destiny it would shape for their species. They had all believed. All of them. What was he afraid of?