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You don't want death and you don't expect death. Something goes wrong, your rocket tilts in space, a planetoid jumps up, blackness, movement, hands over the eyes, a violent pulling back of available power in the fore-jets, the crash....

 Asleep In Armageddon #1 panel 2

Your name? asked hidden voices. Sale, he replied in whirling nausea. Leonard Sale. Occupation, cried the voices. Spaceman! he cried, alone in the night. Welcome, said the voices. Welcome, welcome. They faded.

He stood up in the wreckage of his ship. It lay like a folded, tattered garment around him.

The sun rose and it was morning.

Sale pried himself out the small air-lock and stood breathing the atmosphere. Luck. Sheer luck. The air was breathable. An instant's checking showed him that he had two month's supply of food with him. Fine, fine! And this—he fingered at the wreckage. Miracle of miracles! The radio was intact.

 Asleep In Armageddon #1 panel 4

He stuttered out the message on the sending key. CRASHED ON PLANETOID 787. SALE. SEND HELP. SALE. SEND HELP.


Sale did a little dance.

It was simple as that. One crashed. One had food. One radioed for help. Help came. La! He clapped his hands.

The sun rose and was warm. He felt no sense of mortality. Six days would be no time at all. He would eat, he would read, he would sleep. He glanced at his surroundings. No dangerous animals; a tolerable oxygen supply. What more could one ask. Beans and bacon, was the answer. The happy smell of breakfast filled the air.

After breakfast he smoked a cigarette slowly, deeply, blowing out. He nodded contentedly. What a life! Not a scratch on him. Luck. Sheer luck.

His head nodded. Sleep, he thought.

Good idea. Forty winks. Plenty of time to sleep, take it easy. Six whole long, luxurious days of idling and philosophizing. Sleep.

He stretched himself out, tucked his arm under his head, and shut his eyes.

Insanity came in to take him. The voices whispered.

Sleep, yes, sleep, said the voices. Ah, sleep, sleep.

He opened his eyes. The voices stopped. Everything was normal. He shrugged. He shut his eyes casually, fitfully. He settled his long body.

Eeeeeeeeeeee, sang the voices, far away.

Ahhhhhhhh, sang the voices.

Sleep, sleep, sleep, sleep, sleep, sang the voices.

Die, die, die, die, die, sang the voices.

Ooooooooooooooo, cried the voices.

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, a bee ran through his brain.

He sat up. He shook his head. He put his hands to his ears. He blinked at the crashed ship. Hard metal. He felt the solid rock under his fingers. He saw the real sun warming the blue sky.

Let's try sleeping on our back, he thought. He adjusted himself, lying back down. His watch ticked on his wrist. The blood burned in his veins.

Sleep, sleep, sleep, sleep, sleep, sang the voices.

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, sang the voices.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, sang the voices.

Die, die, die, die, die. Sleep, sleep, die, sleep, die, sleep, die! Oohhh. Ahhhhh. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Blood tapped in his ears. The sound of the wind rising.

Mine, mine, said a voice. Mine, mine, he's mine!

No, mine, mine, said another voice. No, mine, mine; he's mine!

No, ours, ours, sang ten voices. Ours, ours, he's ours!

His fingers twitched. His jaws spasmed. His eyelids jerked.

At last, at last, sang a high voice. Now, now. The long time, the waiting. Over, over, sang the high voice. Over, over at last!

It was like being undersea. Green songs, green visions, green time. Bubbled voices drowning in deep liquors of sea tide. Far away choruses chanting senseless rhymes. Leonard Sale stirred in agony.

Mine, mine, cried a loud voice. Mine, mine! shrieked another. Ours, ours! shrieked the chorus.

The din of metal, the crash of sword, the conflict, the battle, the fight, the war. All of it exploding, his mind fiercely torn apart!


He leaped up, screaming. The landscape melted and flowed.

 Asleep In Armageddon #1 panel 6
 Asleep In Armageddon #1 panel 7
Neural Network Novellas series cover
 Asleep In Armageddon #1 episode cover
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Neural Network Novellas

AI generated art using text prompts are a new, controversial means of creating visual art. The cowboy and the shepherd have working dogs to assist them. The spaceman relies on his blaster and android assistant to complete his mission. The writer can now use an AI artist to create art for his written creations. Join us as we explore this new creative process by taking classic prose stories, feeding them to our supportive silicon sketcher, and share the results with you.
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