Parting Ways

Author: Bruce van-Schalkwyk Noah’s eyes tracked the blip on his screen. Displaying 19% battery, but being the furthest away from the garage, he didn’t want to take any chances with the auto-cab. He typed the return command on the open prompt, pressed Enter on the ...

Verbatim Thirst

Author: Gabriel Land In every direction, there was nothing but baked dirt, tumbleweeds, and flat death. The blazing sun weighed down on me. I didn't know which way to walk, and I didn't know why. How I'd gotten there was long since forgotten. Being lost wasn't the ...

Fires of Moscow

Author: Beck Dacus Captain Whilford sat in the command chair, glowering. As he drank coffee with a blanket around his shoulders, he wondered what could’ve possibly warranted unfreezing him a year before arriving in the enemy system. Everyone on his ship ranking higher ...

Close Call

Author: Julian Miles, Staff Writer Our fleeing shadows flicker in the strobing light from far-off eppy guns - still enough to hurt our eyes, not enough to drop us. A while later, Oli gasps: “Where?” Good question. Sheer luck we’d headed out in search of cold drinks. The ...

Conservation

Author: Lewis Richards The Creature moved its great head forwards, releasing a long mellow call into the night. It waited for a moment, listening for a response, but when one didn't drift back on the wind, it ambled slowly back through the tough, knee-high grasses ...

Alien Child

Author: Elena Horne Darkness is all she sees, at least at first. She blinks, her eyes closing from left to right. The darkness lets through yellow stripes; little strips of light. The sky here is like a pinstriped suit of black and gold. It’s hard too, and so close it ...

Mostly Human

Author: Thomas Tilton I am not the creator, just the keeper. People say that bots don’t have human feelings, that to assume they do is even more dangerous than assuming, say, the crocodile swimming next to you isn’t hungry. Sure, there are dolly bots for kids, ...

Holiday

Author: Mark Thomas It was Monday, June 18th and three sets of new customers carrying identical “cosmic pet shuttles” were lined up waiting for the “Hubble Bubble” pet boarding facility to open. Each carrier happened to contain an over-sized Maine Coon cat. Edwin ...

The Buoy

Author: Janice Rothganger Subject 9581 swam against the waves, edging nearer to her objective with each stroke. Salt water crusted her lips. The storm surge pulled her away, then forced her tantalizingly close to the buoy. The marker bobbed in the ocean. It was topped with ...

Fire Place

Author: Julian Miles, Staff Writer “Pass it.” Jez hisses at me. “Shan’t. M’readin’.” “Borrox!” Kate’s disbelievin’: “What it mean, then?” Lookin’ over the page, I hunt for really long ‘uns: “This word is ‘mountain’. That one is ‘distance’.” “Bloody ‘ell, you ...

Planting

Author: Steve Smith, Staff Writer Felix rolled out of his bunk and immediately regretted every decision he'd ever made. Well, at least those of the last dozen hours or so. The steel deck plate was cold against his feet, and he considered pressing his head against it ...

For Unto Us A Child Is Born

Author: Russell Bert Waters Charlie is throwing a tantrum, that’s all it amounts to. He had stumbled upon the case files; he had seen the end. A siren wails in the distance, deeper within the subterranean facility. Each Charlie we compile begins as a child, knowing ...

The Treads

Author: Thomas Tilton I was five minutes late to work, which meant an extra 1/10 of a mile on my MPH for the day. But I didn’t care. It was the day after my birthday. I was nursing a killer hangover and had contemplated calling in sick, but that would mean a demerit and ...

The Wobbling Moon

Author: Mark Thomas The boy and his robot companion walked along the ruined wall to a school complex, as they did every morning. “Here it is,” the companion said. He pointed to a spot where the stonework changed subtly. “I still don’t see it.” The boy looked closer. ...

Term Limits

Author: Samuel Huang “It’s time, Ms. President.” Sarah Juanita Chen wanted to run, but a dozen secret service agents filled the Oval Office, barring every possible avenue of escape. The regal room where she had once guided the course of world events now felt like the ...

Merit Badge

Author: Janice Rothganger This was the spot. No longer needing his compass, Jackson tucked it inside his shirt. He dropped his pack and went about setting up the campsite: pitching a tent, igniting the fire, cooking dinner. He had planned the trip right down to the number ...

What Dreams May Come

Author: Tyler Hawkins Bernard gasped awake suddenly, and his eyes frantically darted around the darkened room looking for threats. Greeted only by the slow, rhythmic breathing from his wife laying next to him in bed, he focused on remembering the harrowing dream he just ...

Froxnar’s Miracles

Author: Julian Miles, Staff Writer The dim room is momentarily illuminated as the door opens to admit two men in dark suits. They sit on the sofa, facing their guest across a low table. The door silently closes. The left-hand figure produces a badge that glows with a pale ...

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