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The Short Briefing Sergeant's Tale was the fifth story in The Book of the Enemy. It was written by the anthology's editor, Simon Bucher-Jones.

Summary[edit | edit source]

Pre-Narrative Briefing[edit | edit source]

Briefing F

Story[edit | edit source]

A young Homeworlder who fancied styling himself "The Conquistador" was getting yelled at in a drill formation by the Sergeant-Instructor. Of of the cadets calls the Sergeant short. The instructor sneers, and explains that every place that can lead to life will inherently lead to a certain life form, the life form of the enemy - it was even tied to the existence of the Great Houses. This explains why it was impossible to remove the homeworld of the enemy, as they had no one homeworld but lived everywhere. Indeed, once alive, they're near indestructible, can live without nutrients for decades, in radiation, in extreme temperatures. And while a Homeworlder can do this to, it can do all these things at once. They have collective psyche, and when they congregate in spacetime history changes to be more of them than of the Homeworld. Worse, it's not even clear that they're conscious, that this is intentional, or that their worldview has a place for things like the Great Houses. This life form is a tardigrade, and they're not sure if it's the Enemy or a tool of the Enemy, so think about that next time you call someone short. The cadets look around and don't even ask if this is a joke.

Characters[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

To be added

Continuity[edit | edit source]

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