Winner of the Hugo Award for Best Short Story, S. L. Huang’s “As the Last I May Know” is a Tor.com original tale of alternate history.
Nyma was raised by the Order Elders to be one of the President’s Carriers. Now she is ten years old and the nation is being ravaged by devastating war. It’s only a matter of time before she is required to fulfill her duty.
For implanted in her body is a capsule containing operating codes to the country’s weapons of last resort—missiles capable of annihilating entire civilizations in a single blast. If the president is willing to execute an entire populace with the push of a button from a remote distance, he must first be willing to murder a child in order to access the devastating arsenal.
But Nyma’s duty is not to sacrifice herself. She must develop an empathic bond with the president to remind him that the price of victory is too high to pay—for all of humanity…
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Hugo Award - Nominee, Hugo Award Winner