The Rapture Effect Author:Jeffrey A. Carver The year is 2165, and humanity's first fleet of colonizing starships is approaching the planet Argus, one hundred thirty light-years from Earth. During the fleet's years-long voyage across the stars, Earth has produced a technological breakthrough--the stargate--and with it, the first contact with alien life. It has also, unknown to the people... more » of Earth, brought humanity its first interstellar war.
The war is being waged far from Earth by AI robot fighters, commanded by the central artificial intelligence of the McConwell Company's gnostic system. Assigned the task of winning the war, it is the gnostic system--not its human overseers--that first recognizes the war's futility. The gnostic core sets out to alter its own programming, to gain the freedom to take a terrible risk: to make a deliberate, peace-seeking contact with the enemy. Needing help, it assembles what is surely one of the oddest groups of conspirators in memory:
Pali: a public relations director of McConwell who broods far too often upon her unfulfilled ambitions..
Ramo: a cock, flamboyant senso-designer to whom the rapture-field interface is more real than life...
Sage: a socially inept systems-designer to whom the rapture-field interface is more real than life...
And three of the alien EII: Harybdartt, who would rather die with dignity than betray his people; Lingrhetta, who tries to unravel the meaning of human dance and music, pain and love; and Moramaharta, the binder, who must persuade his fellow decision-makers to risk everything for the sake of a fragile bridge of understanding across the stars.
None of them, not even the gnostic core, realizes that a greater peril awaits on Argus--and that peace may only be found at the very threshold of ultimate destruction.
Written with power and compassion, The Rapture Effect is a chronicle of the strength and resilience of the human spirit.« less