1. Intellectually she knows the birds are closer to owls than parrots, but the first time one pounces on a rat she flinches. Happy songbird chirps interspaced with the crunch of bone chip away at the last of her sanity.
2. Humans expand through space slowly, one careful colony at a time. But that thoughtful measured approach is offset by the frantic chaos of robotic fleets that gallop along in front of them laying the Empire’s foundations.
3. “This is pointless! You can’t be perfect every time, it’s not possible.”
“If I’m not people will die. Just give me a minute and we can try again.”
“No. This is war. People are going to die no matter what you do.”
4. On the clear days you can see all the way down into the valley, but the mountain is a magnet for clouds. Most days all he can see is the bank of soft rolling grays.
5. If you try hard enough you can pretend the world away.