Samsara heard a knock on the gate. He sat up, wondering if he’d dreamed the sound. Midnight watch at the monastery gate was hard duty, but good meditation practice. Despite the unyielding wooden bench, he always struggled against the urge to sleep. At forty-five staying awake was harder than when he’d first joined the monastery a dozen years ago. Switching on the light over the gate, Samsara opened the door. A squat machine slowly rolled into the light. It stood a little higher than his waist, with a square, low-slung body. It had three arms. One contained a complex array…

This content is for members only. To read the full story, join today for just £1 a month!
Log In Register