Among the more readable stories of Reynolds, though the plot is a familiar one.
Story summary.32,000 years in future, humans are spread across a billion worlds & this empire is being ruled by a rather benign Emperor. That's when there is an non-attempt on emperor's life, with an intent to send a message rather than kill the emperor.
This is the story of investigation of the incident by emperor's security chief - a hominid robot modeled after Asimov's R Daneel Olivaw. It will lead the security chief to many worlds, & ultimately to Mars - at the down of the empire, where an evil deed was once committed...
Fact sheet.First published: Jonathan Strahan (Ed)'s "Eclipse Two: New Science Fiction & Fantasy" (2008).
Related: Stories of Alastair Reynolds.