Future War in Space: “Snowfall”
Editor’s note: The following story was written by Jonathan Jeckell. This piece is a featured entry from the Atlantic Council Art of Future Warfare project’s space-themed war-art challenge that explored space and interstellar conflict during the last decade of the 21st Century. Tune in to watch or attend the project’s May 18 event at the Council with David Brin discussing the stories and the future of conflict in space.
Roy looked down at the deceptively beautiful and seemingly fragile looking object in his hand with a look of disgust. Even now it was trying to eat through his glove. A metallic tang like nearby welding irritated his nose. “Commander Falke, we have another one over here!” Roy Falke turned and carefully suspended the “snowflake” between two powerful magnets to ensure it couldn’t get a grip on any matter before turning his attention to his colleague. Hikaru gestured to a larger fractal pattern shimmering in the sun, and carefully enclosed it in a container that ripped it apart at the molecular level. They had caught these just in time.
But finding these at all was disturbing. They had spent decades trying to eradicate these damned things, and this confirmed that either some spores lay dormant, or there was another source somewhere that they hadn’t located. They could not afford another outbreak.
It was hard to believe that something so beautiful could cause so much trouble.