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Showing posts from December, 2016

Luck of the Draw

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Sergov came from a family that had held a space in painfully close to the summit of the social pyramid in agonizingly close proximity to the very apex of power.  He was the second of three sons and even though he was the most unremarkable of the three he was still his mother's favorite. Both of his brothers eclipsed him. Their overlapping shadows rendered him almost invisible high society. He was a relatively handsome young man, on the taller side, with a straight back, and slim build but he never proved himself to be adept at anything. He had no innate interests, nothing excited or impassioned him,  and when it came to managing his own affairs, he was gravely incompetent.
This terrified his father who knew maintaining the status of his name would fall on his sons. Since Sergov was incapable of distinguishing himself, it was decided the veneer of prestige would have to suffice, and he as awarded a position in the Empress's palace guard. It was a position that came complete wi…

A Gentleman's Wager

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The massive carrier was an easy target even from over 900 kilometers away. The launch team never even saw their prey, they simply fired the weapon into the sky, packed up, and departed. It wasn’t until they could hear the screaming warhead through the thick steel hull of the ship did the helpless crew have any idea it was heading their way.
The rocket tore a massive burning breach into the side of the ship. Sea water poured in through the burning gash quickly drowning sailors trapped in locked compartments that became reinforced steel tombs.
Jets trying to escape the subsequent chain of munitions explosions crowded the burning flight deck. Their afterburners shot jets of flames that consumed the scattered crews on the deck. Some planes took off without enough room and plummeted into the waves below while others smashed into each other going off the ramp.  Burning sailors jumped from the ship by the hundreds. Thier smoldering bodies bobbed up and down in the gentle waves.
There was a …

Zuruck Zur Mutter

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The launch pad was built on a pedestal that loomed in the center of the colony like the enigmatic temples left by extinct societies that litter the revered home planet.  It had become hollowed ground.  A sacred refuge from the encroaching desolation of the industrial graveyard where the cannibalized corpses of mega complexes quietly decomposing.
 A ship stood vertically at the very center of the smooth summit like a colossal ornament that pointed towards their native home in the stars. Construction of the towering ship was near completion. The pilgrims gathered around the glowing site to bask in its light. The ship’s idling engines breathed a stream of fire scorching the platform. Tremors emanated out from under the growling titanium behemoth.
The sacred site was the backdrop for the final sermon delivered by their prophet. He stood on an evaluated stage built in front of the elevated launch pad. Painted on the wall behind him was a mural of a blue orb with green amoeba-like shapes s…

Your Big Day!

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Every painful gasp pushed the encroaching darkness away before in drew back slightly tighter than the last time. The colors of the room became bright and saturated. The dull pink walls bled into the white tile floor. It felt like a knife twisting in his chest while thousands of burning needles repeatedly stabbed him in the arm. He splashed some cold water from the sink onto his burning face, but there was no relief.
Half measures weren't going to work this time.
There was a pressure building behind his eyes, like his head was in the iron grip of a closing vice. Each breath was more labored than the last. Soon the once involuntary function became impossible to force.
This was it. It wasn't “heartburn”, or a “panic attack.”
This was the terminus. This was the ten-second countdown to his last breath.
It was now his time. He had spent the majority of his life thinking death was something that happened to other people, but now it was him heading for a coffin. His decomposing corps…
"I'm fine with a totalitarian regime as long as it happens they hate all the same things I do."

Dissonance

What was left of the marine company was reunited as old men. The reunion was a highly publicized spectacle every bit as staged and scripted as the memory they had been ordered to re-live. The collection of ex-soldiers on the cusp of old age were part of the legacy left by a war older than themselves and likely to go on long after the last remaining leather neck was lowered into his grave. Some were lost during a tour of duty, but most perished after returning home. For some it was over quickly with a gunshot or an overdose others went through a more gradual chemically induced death.
Ben Harper now a 48-year-old office manager for a major auto insurance company. He had reintegrated back into civilian life with relative success. Because of what happened during his tour of duty he was prohibited from ever discussing his wartime experience. The ghosts of the past were his alone to confront, and he thought the best way to exercise those demons was to act like they didn't exist. He perf…

Drought

Many have warned we're in danger of surrendering too many aspects of our lives to technology, but what does this potentially malicious intelligence already control?

Crystal was a heavy set woman. She was well into mid-life, she wore glasses to compensate for her steadily deteriorating vision, and smiled with teeth stained by years of coffee and nicotine. She spent roughly seven and a half hours five days a week seated at a small worse space created by wood paneled dividers on what was essentially a very long desk.
It was in this vast call center where she decided to spend her remaining times as a fully cognizant and functioning adult. Constantly typing destroyed the joints in her hands and the extended periods of time sitting were causing her blood to clot, but then again the job offered her a modest but relatively dependable retirement plan as well as limited medical coverage.
For a minor co-pay her worn teeth could be yanked, her hot flashes elevated. She could treat her steadi…