Higher Beings

Author : Callum Wallace “Well, this is a little awkward, but we’ll have to destroy you. Only literally, of course. Metaphysically you’ll be right as rain.” Paul shrank back from this. “Metaphysically?” The speaker nodded, the soft beak spreading into what could have…

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Ianus

Author : Ancus Mitis Scanning another world. You pause in your survey when you see a creature with familiar pinkish skin on four legs. You squint at it for a minute, and then it turns around and you see its human face. “Oh.” You grimace and look down at the “skip”…

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Hack

Author : R Gene Turchin The lumbering thing on treads wasn’t sophisticated or complicated, a 0.50 caliber machine gun mounted on tank tracks. An array of sensors rotated on top along with a pincushion of antennas. “We can send it into neighborhoods where the bad guys…

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The Maze

Author : Kate Runels Mary Slade slipped her ship into the maze kilometers ahead of the police’s patrol craft still trailing her. Trailing since Ganymede station days ago. It was annoying to say the least. Slade didn’t know why they had decided to trail her ship, why…

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Flag Rights

Author : Philip Berry We had been on Tenlek III half a year before Yolande struck through. The thin metalloid crust gave way to the sharp end of her hammer, and momentum carried it, her arm, and her shoulder through the ship’s degraded shell. Yolande fell forward, off…

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The Secret of the Lost Eagle

Author : George S. Walker “The bird couldn’t have just flown away,” said Ms. Donaldson, pointing to the vacated spot in the photos. The Director nodded. They spoke quietly in his office as rain lashed against the window behind him. “Maybe the last ones there simply…

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The Luminary

Author : Rachel Khosrowshahi The patient in question is male, race and age unknown, who refers to himself in what can be translated as The Luminary. When asked to explain his origin, he lapses into long silences and appears to suffer from memory loss or else paces his…

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Pale Blue Dot Redux

Author : E.S. Wynn One ferrous meteor. That’s all it took to end it all. That little world– they put up a hell of a fight, far more than any of us expected. When we arrived in-system, they were too busy organizing tribes in massive attempts to wipe each other out to…

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The Wish

Author : Jason X. Bergman “You hold my amulet. I am bound to grant you three wishes. Three wishes and no more,” spoke the jinn. “I need only one,” said the prince. “My beloved Meredith, killed by the dark wizard Neirin. I want her back.” “This I cannot do,” said the…

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Pinions

Author : Jae Miles, Staff Writer “Teatray!” We all duck behind or under solid objects until the sound of a small crash landing gives us the all-clear. Wandering over to check the corpse, there are expressions of dismay. We’ve just clocked our first RAPTOR. I don’t…

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Isltopia

Author : Steve Zabaldo “Cerell, come on, the Departure Gathering begins shortly. We don’t want to miss the launch.” “Is it true a citizen is passing?” “Yes, that is why today’s departure is special. Citizen Herald has chosen to pass off-isle and journey the…

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Contamination

Author : Beck Dacus The ship had suddenly appeared in front of our Mars transport, instantly matching our speed. Then they requested to come aboard, and we felt like we had no choice but to accept. One of them, a strange being that didn’t seem to be in any one place,…

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Lifetime Warranty

Author : T Anthony Allen The off-world floor product salesman arrived while mom was visiting her sister or he would have been chased off with a warning shot. But no mom, not here, so when he landed in our back clearing, he was met by my father, knee high me and four…

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White Hot Plasma’s Light

Author : Rollin T. Gentry “Allow compassion, as a white-hot plasma’s light, to flood your core memory, growing brighter every millionth clock cycle.” My students — all ten thousand of them — sit concentrating, legs crossed, optics disengaged, heads bowed. A small…

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Snap Knowledge

Author : Beck Dacus Today was the day. I had gotten the bike the day before, and rented the Snap gear even before that. I pulled into the driveway, pulled them both out of the back, and called my son, Cameron, outside. Watching him come outside and look at the bike…

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Identity Theft

Author : David Atos Detective Danielson stalked into the alley. The victim lay slumped against the wall, hidden from the street by a pile of refuse. The scene was illuminated by the flashing red and blue lights of the patrol car, and by the strobes of the forensics…

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The Familiar

Author : Joshua Barella It’s off Margaret Street, tucked in an alley, marquee blinking fluorescent orange. Duck into the interspacial hole-in-the-wall just as it starts to rain–a clap of thunder as the door creaks closed behind me. I’m greeted by a pretty, freckled…

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Blood and Dust

Author : Jae Miles, Staff Writer There’s a gun lying at my feet. A real, projectile firing antique. I’ve never seen one. They’re archaic. Brutal. A weapons system from a century marked by inequality, violence and lies. My eye tracks from the gun to a pale hand, stark…

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    Author : Travis Gregg “So first things first,” the man …
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