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WHEN WE BURNED THE EARTH!!
Nikolai Tesser began his days as he always did, with a routine check of his data-miners. He was the proud owner of five machines, each processing at an Exabyte-per-second. Sure, they were a little outdated, but his custom hardware and clocking software made him more than comfortable with the information he was able to excise from the Exonet. He then went on to the less important checks of his little Star Jumper—life-support, food processors, and material waste converters. After all was done and the ship was humming to life again, Nikolai sat down to test out his latest acquisition: a new bit of software that supposedly allowed him to brew an exact replica of a pre-Burning single-origin coffee from his food processor.
According to his research, the foliage that originally produced this curious product had a long and dramatic history with ancient humanity, including sabotage, wars, and piracy—Nikolai especially liked that. Nikolai had never had any personally, but rumor was the Librarian himself enjoyed three cups a day from this very program.
Just as the steaming liquid began to spew into his chipped ceramic mug, he received the familiar beeping that signaled an incoming call at the front deck.
He grabbed a shirt on the way to the deck, slipping it on and managing to not spill a single drop of the scalding coffee. He had no idea it would process so hot; a person could get some serious burns from that stuff.