In cooperation with Galaxy Science Fiction Magazine, a story by Michael Shearer.
At a remote military outpost, soldiers relax by having drinks at the bar. Duty calls, and it’s back to the drudgery of peace time garrison life. A security risk shows up to threaten 500 years of peace, and the troops look at pulling out.
The new planet is less than inviting for the lazy, liquor starved troops. The evacuees set out to make the frozen planet livable as they carve a place out of the wilderness.
After all these years of a shrinking military, and less than stellar performance, or demand for it, the slack soldier boys now have to whip themselves into enough shape to deal with real security issues. An alien life form seems to be infiltrating their camp and sabotaging their ranks. How do they do it? How can they be stopped?
Nightfall seems to be the time when the enemy is most active, and the sluggish soldiers prepare for a fight. Military skills are about to be tested, and the enemy is identified. Robots. But are they robots disguised as native wildlife? Lizards, bats, monkeys, and the like? The robot-monkey combos find the human soldiers are more resilient in the fight than expected.
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