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 collation of South African ...

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 captains he could get a word ...

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 fine and good, but we ...

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 did not move. General Dana ...

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 into when you laughed at ...

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 with a thought. Suddenly, ...

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 together, mind like an avalanche. ...

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 red velvet miniskirt ...

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 black marker and turned ...

The Lost Prince

Boromir was off his medication. He was tired of forgetting who he really was. He had to be careful about the pills. The thick armed nurse at work would watch him swallow them and then stand in front of him as he opened his mouth and waggled his tongue. The nurse would frown at him, her face ...

Legal on Mars

"It's just a brain game," Aaron assured the dubious Thomas. He grinned, a sly smirk that made his half-lidded eyes seem like they knew something Thomas didn't. Thomas had always hated that. "It messes with people's heads," Thomas insisted, stubborn. "You're not even allowed to have them ...

The Talent Agent

The talent was stored in glass vials, a class A controlled substance. The FDA regulated it heavily, fining doctors for excessive prescriptions and keeping the drug company on a short promotional leash. This was not to be available to the general populace; in fact, this was not to be known of ...

Overseer

"I know your face." whispered the tiny woman as Nathan passed her workstation. He glanced at her cube, where she was manipulating objects in her field. He looked at her field and nodded. "You do good work here." Please, he thought, take the warning. He flicked a signal with his left hand, ...

The Creators

There was a certain quiet to this planet. The millions of years had led to a malfunction of tectonic waves on Ritus-112. Plates shifted and now allowed the sight of black igneous rock. which spanned the wide crevice at the depths of what used to be a Class 3 water mass. A being with neither a ...

Ice World

Sol lived with her guardians on a lake of ice. Every day she would strap on skates and push her way across a mile wide lake to her school, which was inside a giant crystal dome. All the children on her ice world were guarded by slim solemn men and women who watched each other as fiercely as ...

The Burden of Proof

It started at the SureSave on Fourth Avenue. Andy had been standing in line for nearly ten minutes, sweltering in the August heat that poured through the open doorway, before he dropped his basket onto the counter. Hair dye, promising 100% gray coverage. Baking-soda-infused toothpaste. A ...

Comfort

When I was a little girl, my mother would tell me stories of the time before the dome, when she ran wild outside. She told me about how she had been always hungry and tired, because she couldn't find food. And that there were lots of dangers, like fast moving spheres that could knock someone ...

What Goes Around

In 2198 Earth Standard Time, Jonas Fox, a pilot for the Interstellar Defense Crew, spotted a few pirates off the southern hem of the moon. He got on the radio to contact his fighters, who then zoomed in to show them once and for all who was boss. The IDC fleet had recently been equipped with a ...

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