Duty and Debt

Author: Jae Miles, Staff Writer Broadbeam seems heavy tonight. That’s silly. It’s not like I’m holding it myself. There used to be a thing called ‘karma’. It marked your soul for doing good or bad things. WorldOne tells us superstitions like that are fiction. I wish I…

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Starlight

Author: Steve Smith, Staff Writer Manik pulled up to the curb, powered down the engine and looked across the dusty roadway at the diner. As if on command, the neon sign over the doorway sputtered to life, strobing weakly at first before coming on strong, ‘Starlight’…

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Ticket to Fly

Author: DJ Lunan Barden loved Saturday mornings, rambling with his young daughter through the deciduous forest. Perpetually wet underfoot, the forest always kept the eight-year-old entertained. “Look! Dad!” shrilled Megan. “Someone’s dropped their train ticket!”. She…

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Binary Diplomacy

Author: David C. Nutt “Are you insane? This was supposed to be a negotiation of terms for surrender. You made it a slaughter!” COL Mikalelan holstered her weapon and gave her two aides the command to stand down. “I’ve been fighting them for twelve years, Ambassador…

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Hivemind

Author: David Monteyne His hideout is a tidal cave, little more than a crawlspace gouged into a seaside cliff. He rarely leaves it. He starts brushwood fires to keep warm and forages by moonlight for the limpets and starfish and anemones that populate the tidal basin….

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The Mandolins

Author: David Henson Susan Wiggins lost an arm at work today. That’s called “making a donation” since the Mandolins took over. We’ve averaged about a donation a month over the past year. I myself donated a finger a couple weeks ago. It’s no wonder. The machinery we…

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LV4

Author: Steve Smith, Staff Writer Yosun blinked in the afternoon sun, the viewport on her hazmat suit filtering the harsh UV rays but doing little to reduce the glare. Her shuttle had settled a few hundred meters from the blast site, the ground compressed into a large…

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Unrestrained

Author: Mina – Bravo-tango-delta-three-nine-zero-zulu, you are cleared to dock. – Affirmative, docking sequence initiated. K8 docked manually; it was against procedure, but nobody would have been able to tell with her level of precision. It was one of the small joys…

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The Greatest Conspiracy Ever Revealed!

Author: Jae Miles, Staff Writer “You’re going to record this?” “Of course. The world must know.” “So, this is where I’m supposed to tell all about the nefarious schemes my diabolical organisation has planned?” “Something like that.” “About the slaves working on Mars…

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Wish List

Author: Rick Tobin Baylen continued with standard disease treatment questions for applicants, after verifying Sheila Barston’s financial capabilities. Baylen took on a wizened senior’s appearance for his younger, highly spirited clientele needing a thimble full of…

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Whiskey Neat

Author: Hari Navarro I lay naked on the beach as the tide it nudges, teasing as it tucks me beneath its gossamer sheet before then retracting and sluicing itself back through the curves and crevasses of my body. A gentle wind peaks, whipping into a gust, one that…

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Eventually

Author: Ron Humble The most deadly device ever conceived by the human mind has not been a weapon, but a word. It’s a word of mass destruction. Its danger lies not in the power to motivate foolish actions. On the contrary, it encourages passivity. The word is…

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We are the Vikings, and Not in a Good Way

Author: Dylan Otto Krider We thought after landing on the moon, we would be like Christopher Columbus, and usher a new world. In turned out, we were like the Vikings, who frittered around before being forgotten. Anything that leaves the Earth now is either a probe,…

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Songs of Our Ancestors

Author: David C. Nutt Hand in hand they walked up the hill to look at the night sky. “Am I old enough for the download Papa?” The old man smiled. “Yes sweet pea, you’re old enough. Been old enough for almost three cycles now but-“ “I know, the ancestors haven’t swung…

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One Last Drink

Author: Mina Ana waved at the barperson with rainbow hair and forced herself to speak louder than usual to order a Cosmic Sunrise with a Twist. The drink was slapped in front of her as she waved her anonymous credit key over the payment scanner built into the bar top….

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The Skies of Home

Author: Jae Miles, Staff Writer I’ve shipped many things since the day I left Oktoberfeld. Some legal, many dubious, a few contraband, and nineteen wanted beings. Technically, this is my twentieth. The job came with some unusual aspects. On a ship like mine – one of…

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Crazy Choices

Author: Rick Tobin “Nobody makes choices carelessly about losing one of their senses, but you know the risk of blowing your neural nets outweighs keeping all your Earthly capacities.” Paloma Derth leaned towards her reluctant client. Behind her were rolling…

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The Winner

Author: C.R. Caison The laser round exploded in a flash of light by Yuri’s head. He jumped and rolled to the side before a second shot struck the wall where he’d been standing. The blast weakened the wall and it collapsed into a heap of fragments. The crowd roared…

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