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Showing posts from February, 2019

Never Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth

Karnot propped up his tired old body with his cane and quietly watched as a group of parents showed their children how to dig a small irrigation ditch. On most days, a sight such as that would be enough to move the otherwise stalwart man to tears. The 66-year-old Karnot had lost his only child, and now it was far too late for him to have another. For a man in his twilight years, it was a very lonely apocalypse. It would all die with him. But this time, watching the process of one generation passing on knowledge to the next quelled his sadness. The old pioneer may not have carried his genes into the cosmos, but he could be sure he was leaving behind a hard-earned and well-deserved legacy. The survival of any species is never more than a numbers game. Life, especially in its more complex forms, is exceedingly fragile. Matter will only take on consciousness for the briefest of times before entropy tears the physical form apart and scatters the pieces into oblivion. Make as many copies as

Colony Collapse Disorder

The descent into the lightless shaft was accompanied by the rhythmic clicking from the steel teeth of gears. Every revolution of the cogwheels brought them lower and lower. 25 miners were packed into the iron lift. They drifted into the thickening darkness without a word. The cogs abruptly locked into place as the bottom of the cart bumped against the ground. The sliding steel cage open with an ear piercing screech and the human cargo disembarked. They stood in a cavern that was at the hub four diverging tunnels. Without saying a word, they dropped their equipment into the dirt and disappeared into the lightless depths of the subterranean passages. On the surface, the systems of civilized life were also facing similar arrest.  Everywhere people stopped whatever it is they were doing and either wondered off into the surrounding frontier or simply became stuck behind doors which they no longer had the wherewithal to open, or their bodies were seized by inescapable behavioral loops.

A Coup in the Magical Kingdom

Doctor David Merk was sitting at one of three round tables in the relatively modest employee breakroom. He carefully ripped the foil topping from his cup of yogurt and mixed up the contents with a small plastic spoon. He took a bite and gave a friendly nod of acknowledgment to a lab assistant on his way to use the microwave. Doctor Tanya Andrassy walked into the room holding a small Tupperware container, a folded-up newspaper under her arm. "Doctor Merk," she greeted in a way that was both as formal as it was familiar. "Doctor Andrassy," David replied. Tanya sat opposite David and laid the paper out flat on the table. She pointed to a picture of a remarkably handsome young man. "Remember him?" She coyly asked. David wiped some strawberry yogurt smattered in his mustache's snow-white hair and studied the photo for a moment. "Oh, that's a second-generation Kyle S series," David said. "He got into Yale? Good for him," David mu

Living Hell

“I have been whispering your whole life, and now you can finally hear me.” A raspy voice muttered in Joseph’s ear. Joseph’s slumber gave way to a consciousness gripped with panic but a body that would not move. The first thing in his field of vision was the elongated silhouette of a millipede crawling around in the lamp hanging above his head. “I have always been with you. I know everything you know, and I’ve seen everything that you’ve seen and a millennia more.” “Who are you?” Joseph asked in a choked whisper. “My name is gone forever. Just like the empire, I served” the voice said with no trace of sorrow.  “I think that’s something you must know a lot about.” Joseph saw the legs of the millipede probing the outer edge of the lantern. The writhing extremities curled out from the shadow into the light. “That scar on your forearm. You were one of the Third Reich's anointed soldiers?” The voice asked smugly. “It's a dead give away. The voice sighed, “Once a Hun always a