Future of War by ayudovin
Some roman general (his name and the exact quote escape me now) wrote that new designs for war machines should no longer be considered, as further improvement would be impossible. It is tempting to say something of the kind, when our civilization has made it possible for us to destroy life as we know it on our planet with a touch of a button, but to give in to that temptation is to be overly hopeful or overly arrogant. Humanity will, in all probability, continue to perfect its destructive capabilities. Humanity will also, in all probability, destroy itself. Yet it is difficult not to harbor the hope that at some point we will learn to control ourselves, and even while possessing the means for mass destruction, we would choose more civilized avenues for combat. Already there are trends in that direction: people are learning to value each others lives, and are choosing to talk rather than fight, and fight on a smaller scale rather than annihilate the opponent -- an absurd idea only some decades ago. One hopes that some day we would learn to do battle so that (unlike in war) there is more than a token winner at the end. One hopes that some day the absurdity of war will reach its apogee -- in a ritualistic battle of minds on an archaic game board.
Here, just such a battle is depicted, at the sunset of the third sun, on a beautiful but deadly planet.