Author : Sad Sama

“What’s it like?”

The pale-haired wispy woman that is Alicia stares up at Brian as he asks his question. From the observation deck behind the engine complex the two of them could view the planet below. It is a humbling sight, but Brian’s attention is on Alicia. “What’s it like being a Corewoman?”

Alicia Composes her thoughts in reminiscent contemplation. “The first part is easy. I step inside the chamber. The walls are black from the many times they’ve been used, and they form a sphere around me. There is no light inside once the door closes. I begin to visualize the equations in my head, and then I start to solve them, forming very specific patterns of electrical impulses in my brain. They’re patterns within the patterns of electricity that comprise my mind and consciousness, but they’re unstable in a very specific way.”

Alicia turns her gaze back to the planet as she continues, “At first there’s a burning sensation spreading throughout my body, but that’s just my nerves dying as the energy buildup breaks down my brain. Numbness follows, just as my eyes tear up before their nerves die. I can hear static for a moment followed by nothing. My brain is gone and my body follows suit, burning up as fuel in the growing mass of energy and flux. Then the engines start to siphon off the excess energy to fuel the cruiser’s propulsion system.”

Brian looks over Alicia’s willowy figure. “How do they bring you back?”

Alicia speaks softly, “At the center of all that energy exists very specific patterns of energy. They’re the same as the electrical patterns that make up my consciousness. So they funnel the core of energy into an assembly chamber that converts it back into matter… back into a real body with that pattern of energy as the electrical impulses in my brain.”

“So to run the ship you have to die?”


“Is it nice being so powerful?”

“Not really.” Alicia lifts her knees and rests her chin on them. “There aren’t many that can solve the equations that cause the energy flare. The Fleet’s scared that if any of us get into an accident or even just bump our heads that we’ll forget the equations and suddenly we can’t do our duty anymore. The Fleet rarely lets me off the Cruiser, and when they do I need several escorts. I’m not allowed to drive or fly a shuttle. I’m not permitted to even cut my own food. Everyone does everything for me, and after a while they start to treat me as if I can’t do these simple things, and they end up making me feel useless.”

Unsure of his words, “But Corewomen and Coremen are the most important parts of our Fleet.”

“Heh…” the chuckle is half a whimper. “Why does being so important make me feel like the most unimportant person ever?”

The next hour is quiet between them as Brian searches for an answer.

This is your future: Submit your stories to 365 Tomorrows
365 Tomorrows Merchandise: The 365 Tomorrows Store
The 365 Tomorrows Free Podcast: Voices of Tomorrow

Random Story :

The Past

365tomorrows launched August 1st, 2005 with the lofty goal of providing a new story every day for a year. We’ve been on the wire ever since. Our stories are a mix of those lovingly hand crafted by a talented pool of staff writers, and select stories received by submission.

The archives are deep, feel free to dive in.

Flash Fiction

"Flash fiction is fiction with its teeth bared and its claws extended, lithe and muscular with no extra fat. It pounces in the first paragraph, and if those claws aren’t embedded in the reader by the start of the second, the story began a paragraph too soon. There is no margin for error. Every word must be essential, and if it isn’t essential, it must be eliminated."

Kathy Kachelries
Founding Member


We're open to submissions of original Science or Speculative Fiction of 600 words or less. We only accepting work which you previously haven't sold or given away the rights to. That means your work must not have been published elsewhere, either in print or on the web. When your story is accepted, you're giving us first electronic publication rights and non-exclusive subsequent publication rights. You retain ownership over your story. We are not a paying market.

Voices of Tomorrow

Voices of Tomorrow is the official podcast of 365tomorrows, with audio versions of many of the stories published here.

If you're interested in recording stories for Voices of Tomorrow, or for any other inquiries, please contact