Police Control

Author : Stefan Aeschbacher The look down the barrel of a gun was frightening; much more frightening than I ever imagined it to be. ‘ID yourself citizen’ the cop behind the barrel barked. I moved my left wrist, containing the ID tag, towards the reader. Much faster…

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Field Test

Author : Jae Miles, Staff Writer The moonlight is cut off by drifting clouds as I hurdle the wall and drop into the shadowed mess that comprises the unfinished foundations of what will be the Chibakan headquarters when they finally find some new backers. Behind me I…

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Embargo

Author : W Hunter “Where is everybody?” Enrico Fermi, 1950 The enormous space craft slid out of the hyper-dimensional matrix in the orbit of one of the gas-giant planets. It gravitated towards the inner planets smoothly, gathering data by the millisecond. Within a…

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The Man With No Name

Author : Desmond Hussey The Climber clings to the base escarpment of Olympus Mons’. Freezing zephyrs tug at his dusty, ocher robes as he scales, hand over fist, the sheer face of ruddy basalt. “What is the nameless name?” Master Su-gee asked him once, long ago. His…

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Salary Man

Author : Ray Daley The Misthkthos had been on Earth over a year when I talked to my first one. They’d come in peace, landed in a quiet region and strolled out of their ship into the night to check out our planet. Easy enough to spot them as aliens you’d think? Then…

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Fun Slows Us Down

Author : Duncan Shields, Staff Writer I’m with the XIA. The Xenomorph Intelligence Agency. I’m undercover. This is a soft war; more of an intelligence-gathering mission to discover weak points and destabilization technique hypotheses in case they’re needed. It’s the…

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Past Tense

Author : Robin de Graaf Bartleby pushed open the heavy pub door. A bell jangled and a handful of pub patrons gave him a quick look-see. Realizing that they had no idea who he was, they quickly returned to their pints. Bartleby looked around, until he saw who he was…

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Old-Time Memory

Author : Kiel Finger He stabbed his knife into the hardpack soil. It didn’t go in very deep; in fact it barely stood upright. Maybe an inch or two into the ground, tilted to the left. Not as dramatic as he would have liked, but the meaning behind the act was clear. It…

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Pageturner

Author : Joseph Pascale My ears were assaulted by a variety of sounds as I entered the 21st Century-style café. The most alarming was the grinding sound that could have come from a malfunctioning robot, but was actually emitting from large copper contraptions. I was…

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The Seven Year Scream

Author : Aldous Mercer Gerrard goes down on one knee to tie Junior’s shoelaces. He double, then triple-knots the things, and wonders what else she’s left deliberately undone. “Did Mommy tell you why I wanted you to come today?” His voice is low. “Uh-Huh.” Junior’s…

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Home Is Where the Heart Is

Author : Roger Hammons The Lady of the House had a mind of her own. “Christopher James Robbins!” she scolded. “Yes, ma’am! Yes, ma’am!” he replied, picking up the dirty clothes. The forceful puff of hot air from the vents made him chuckle, which seemed to annoy her…

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Junk Planet

Author : Clint Wilson, Staff Writer The piles of scrap starship parts stretched off toward the horizon in every direction. I’d lived on the junk planet for almost five years now, but my escape was imminent. I wound up here like so many others, stranded in orbit with a…

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A 'Simon-Pure' Tale

Author : Desmond Hussey, Staff Writer I’s down at Calhoon’s Saloon washin’ the day’s grit outta my mouth with belts of sour mash. Was hotter’n a cat-house on nickel night with nothin’ to jaw on but leathery yarns told too many times. Sudden-like, I feels a cold wind…

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Trash Man

Author : Mark Tremble The gravel road leading to the dumping ground is the colour of washed bone in the moonlight. Nothing moves except the leaves of ironbark trees when the night breeze comes. Inside the caretaker’s trailer, which is parked closer to the piles of…

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Big Bang Theory

Author : Dawn Napier Six year old Jacob found the marble under his bed, behind a grey bin filled with army vehicles. It was bright blue and glowed faintly in the dusty darkness. Jacob picked up the marble—then dropped it again. It was hot, so hot that it burned his…

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Scrap

Author : Jae Miles, Staff Writer I look at the disc embedded in the tree by my head. I’ve just avoided the embarrassment of being beheaded by the greatest hits of the 1990s. The slotgun is an innovation that embodies the creed of the scrappers, using society’s…

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The Spotter Alone

Author : Jay Hill Corporal Hawkins woke to a loud ringing in his ears, the sound muted only slightly by the rush of pain swimming across the top of his skull. He undid the strap on his Kevlar helmet and ran his hand through the blood and sweat pouring down from his…

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Good to Have Company

Author : Townsend Wright The girl with the bright red hair walked into the dingy, ramshackle hotel. The lobby was edged with people, some standing, watching, most asleep under old coats or bags, except one man with a disfigured face who was sitting cross-legged in…

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