The Ocean Waits by Beth Goder

The nanobots inhabited ice plants on the beach. Bots burrowed into the greenish blades, into petals splayed out like shrapnel. They had chosen such hosts because nothing else was left. 

The ocean roared, constant in its sound. No birds wandered the shoreline. No plankton coasted on waves. 

The ocean had made sure of it.

Under the guidance of the nanobots, the ice plants changed. Up they grew, past the shoreline, into waves. Over years, they covered the water, pushing ever outward, like capillaries across an enormous, unblinking eye.

Together, bots and plants became a new creature. The ocean waited, listening.

Beth Goder works as an archivist, processing the papers of economists, scientists, and other interesting folks. Her fiction has appeared in venues such as Escape PodAnalog, ClarkesworldNature, and Horton’s The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy. You can find her online at

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