The Dark Lord’s vast tower gleamed with a malevolent light; it is uncertain how one would take a quality of intentionality, such as malignance, and instill it into a manifestation of the physical processes of the Universe, such as “light”; but the Tower managed, possibly through sheer force of ill-will. The nigh-endless array of battlements were interrupted only by an even greater array of larger and somehow more-menacing battlements.
Strange UFOs and other starcraft, the works of hitherto-uncontemplated but visibly hostile alien intellects buzzed, hovered, teleported, releported, and, for what appeared to be no reason other than showing off, sometimes turned themselves inside-out.
Then were the Dragons—but Robinette brainswiped away from that entire subject; even behind her blocking software, they did not bear much contemplation. They made the mind uncomfortable; and there’s no discomfort quite like having a leathery wingtip poke your inner eye.
One thing was absolutely certain: The Dark Lord’s army of assorted rabble, robots, theoretically-mythical beings, Vikings, Fierce Ones, and squadrons of interplanar warships were gearing up for a battle of unbelievable proportions.
It was bad news, but it was news just the same. She had her story. She ordered up a pot of coffee and got ready to work.
Almost automatically, she gave her searching AI a series of mental “pats” on its metaphorical head, the action being a proprioceptive “gesture” which was almost like showing physical affection to a loyal dog, lacking only the physicality, the motion, and the actual dog.
Nevertheless, it was good practice to give your AI as much feedback as possible, especially when it was very right or very wrong. She would have been unlikely to perceive any of these things unaided—not that she would have tried, since unaided human perception was full of all manner of dangers.
She settled down to write. She had time; she’d set her AI’s vision for tomorrow, and that gave her a good twenty hours to describe the situation in horrifying detail. Not for the first time, she felt a vague curiosity about how the searching-algorithms could view things that hadn’t happened yet; but the divination of today always matched the headlines of tomorrow, and thus, it was provably never, ever wrong.