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Original Science Fiction and Fantasy every weekday. Welcome! We publish very short science fiction as broadly defined: sf, fantasy, slipstream, etc. Please read today's short story below. Browse topics in the sidebar, and read what intrigues; subscribe via email to receive each story in your inbox for free; and consider becoming a paying member to ensure we can keep paying authors and providing stories to all.

Armistice

Declaration of Armistice in the Time War
All human combatants must read from top to bottom.
We did not lose the Time War
Remember that no matter what our adversaries may say
We have learned important lessons, now we must rebuild, rearm and remain vigilant
Given their different view of the flow of time and causality
It's not surprising the other side would disagree with our declaration that we are victorious
After all that both sides have sacrificed in pursuit of galactic dominance
Perhaps we shall have to leave judgement of victory to posterity
We have fought bravely against a mighty foe and survived
Now this war which has cost so many lives and caused such destruction is about to end
For now the Kelad and Humanity have managed to reach a precarious settlement
The devastation caused to Human worlds and timeways has been enormous
But our debt of lives has been repaid tenfold
The once proud and all conquering Kelad temporal armada lies in ruins
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We shall of course never forget
The initial destruction of our peaceful colonies on the galactic fringe which started this war
Perhaps we can bring ourselves to forgive
Let's us hope that time will heal the anger we still feel for our enemies
Both sides having fought to a standstill
At last perhaps we can give peace a chance
Human civilization has almost been wiped out
At several stages of the war
But despite their early advances
The Kelad have suffered grievous losses
Although they fought bravely with tenacity and fearsome war machines, we have prevailed
It was a close run thing at times, make no mistake
Our technical advantage in time technology has allowed us to resist their onslaught
There are still gulfs in understanding between Kelad and Human
Both sides think the other's causal claims about the reasons for the war are backwards and
It is doubtful that our negotiators will ever agree completely on this
The subject of reparations is still under discussion at neutral points along the timeline
A time war is easy to start and hard to stop
All sentient races must learn from our mistakes
Human and Kelad existence now depends on us healing our differences
Our civilizations and the universe itself teeter on the brink of collapse
It is uncertain if either species can survive for long
Without the other's help
We must work together to repair the space time continuum
Kelad and Human cooperation is now the only way forward
We must put our deep feelings of hostility aside
This is a direct order to all Human and Kelad units
The war is now officially over everywhere and everywhen with both local and nonlocal effect
Galaxy wide, between 128:346:342:126 and 621:243:643:821 galactic standard time
All war related activities, timewise engagements, spacewise attacks and quantum hostilities must cease
All Kelad combatants must read from bottom to top
Declaration of Armistice in the Time War
The End
This story was first published on Tuesday, July 16th, 2019

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