The Armageddon Machine
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An SF short story in the Golden Age tradition.
The last, battered remnant of the feared Draconian starfleet limps through space, shadowed by ships of the victorious Million Star worlds. But the Draconian ship is still a terrible threat: it is the Draconian's final weapon, a device that can trigger the cascading collapse of space/time itself.
Mackenzie, in charge of the Million Star fleet, fears what will happen if he attempts to destroy the device. Then, one of the semi-mythical Xin ancients arrives on his ship, suggesting a plan that appears to endanger all of reality. In the final battle with the Draconians, Mackenzie must decide whether to trust the Xin or not. The fate of the universe itself hangs on his actions ...
'A beautiful story of trust and hope in dark times ... a masterful, compelling work, with deep themes underlying it that brush against life, eternity, and the meaning of existence.'
- Keesa Renee DuPres, Tangent