Short and catchy, with all the quality I'd expect in a short story from one of the published magazines like the Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.
The piece can work well as the basis behind a rescue mission for nearly any sci-fi setting, or a cautionary tale told around the star port bar by a retired brotherhood guard about what happens to those who are *too* successful with cutting edge creation.
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Certainly a very high quality piece. Overall, I don't think I can really suggest any useful suggestions for improvement. Oh, one minor thing, the sub mentioned in the 4th paragraph something abt his "access to the nets" was limited. I thought this referred to the Internet or some such equivalent in which case it would be better to capitalise the "nets" bit else there may be a slim chance (very slim) that the reader might wonder abt it meaning something else (as I briefly did but then again maybe it's just me)