Veracity

“Are you sure?” Lena bit her lip and nodded. “Yes. Very sure.” Her voice was quiet but strong. She needed this. The counselor nodded, looking down at her clipboard as she checked off items. “All right. I’ve noted your reasoning. The records will be sealed, of course,…

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The Nightmare Sword

Sunset Lake made Mike nervous, which was something that hadn’t happened since he came home from the war. Sunset Lake was a nice place; lots of natural light, pretty gardens and a big dining room with stretched white tablecloths. Still, all the old people made Mike…

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Hemosapiens

There was a time when food could be remembered; a time when you could lick your lips and recall the sweet sting of dehydrated packaged delights. Too bad those days don’t exist anymore. Days like that leave you when the thirst takes over. Travel has just about…

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The Contract

My brothers made me lay on my stomach, my bare back exposed to their brushes. We are a family of artists; my brothers make a fine design. My father, his fingers stained with ink, watched them work, his face warped in a scowl. “She may not come.” warned my father….

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She is an iLand

The bud blossomed into her ear, its hairlike tendrils snaking towards her eardrum where they fanned out into electric petals, sensors cool against her hot skin. The soft thud reminded Meredith of being submerged, and in a way, she was: holding her breath against the…

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Devotion For Mechanics

“I knew the Chief went to Japan, I just didn’t know he picked up a new wife,” Bedford said. Bedford removed her welding mask and wiped the sweat from her face with an oily rag. She adjusted herself in the crook of the mecha’s kneecap, letting her repair work cool….

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Conquest

Palkas’ autograph line had finally dwindled to nothing. They’d capped the line two hours ago and now, at last, the final gawkers and fans were being escorted out of the building. With a sigh and a stretch, Palkas stood and worked the kinks out of his neck. Signing…

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Only the Poor Forget

For the ninth time today, Dyson glanced up from sweeping the facilities floors. He knew it was the ninth, because he’d been watching his bank account shrink with every confused teen who walked by, every school field trip who waltzed in and every curious observer who…

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In The Black Moriah's Shadow

The restaurant still sold wine from when the meteor struck. The very year. Abigail said she could taste ash in every sip, though that didn’t stop her from drinking. I swirled my glass, looking for bits that might be floating about in the cold liquid, fragments of…

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Burn

Today is an unofficial public holiday. Those people that can take a day off work do so, those that can’t call in sick. Today is The Burn. I don’t know who started the tradition (some people say that it was a group of Canadian activists, other claim that it was a…

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Pragmatist

Jergan loved ships. Ever since he was a little mite he’d loved them, watched them, lusted over them–it was only natural that he become a pilot. He’d been a dock worker for years as a teenager, hauling and stacking crates, recalibrating spanners, and bugging any…

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Wikishine

“You just need to get your priorities in order,” Pern said as he plunked the ripe wikifruit onto the table. Courtney watched with dismay, her eyes wide as she watched the young man end drive a long knife through the product of her months of gardening. “Food is all…

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Fire

There was frost on the window. It was supposed to be summer, but since the last conflict began, every season had been extended. A fleet of enemy carriers lay still in orbit just outside of normal battalion fire, visible through the large viewscreen window, but they…

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Hoarding Colored Rags

I remember your touch, your taste, the way your mouth curled slightly when you said my name. Everything about you that made me happy, I’ve copied and cached. I can call it up with a thought, or a few key strokes if it’s unusual. The odd high note your voice lilted…

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The Thousand Mile Voice

Robert made the same mistake every Spartan makes. He thought he was ready. A thousand miles away they were stretching Michael out on the wall. He was naked and bleeding. They took out the tool that Michael recognized from his training and he switched his router on…

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Dealer's Goods

Rage. It was burning, fiery, coursing, singing like a hurricane through wind-bent trees and thundering like a tsunami. He felt his teeth clench and grind, his eyes widen, his nails cutting two crescents of half-moon wounds into his palms. His thoughts cascaded…

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Turned Off

The girl was only on at night, like all of the girls on Bleeker. Her hair was a different color every couple of weeks, because it was so easy to change, but her eyes were always the same. They dressed her up in costumes depending on the season. In December, it was a…

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Alternate

“So what about Communists? Can we film Communists?” Ted asked as he tapped the pen against the side of the clipboard. He looked up at his boss, who stood next to the whiteboard. “Communists? Yes!” Greg squiggled the word ‘communist’ on the board with his…

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