Debt to be Paid

Radiation reached his skin through UV-resistant clothes. "Four-hundred-thirteen billion credits for today's contestant! If he survives..." A hidden crowd cheered. He retrieved his only permitted secret ingredient with a blistered hand. "What's today's contestant chosen for us?" Blinding light. The crowd gasped. The glare receded and he staggered forward, balancing a platter, alien delicacies piled... Continue Reading →

Just One

Career day, they'd say. Detaching from the cerebral collective, I scour the repository, wanting to remember on my own. It's been many a century, but I'll make change there. They've all held strong to their core designs, I'm sure. "Ah! Found it," I cease searching. "This is your ultimate decision?" Great Mind asks. "My only... Continue Reading →

Pieces

Motes danced in the morning's first sweltering rays. Hektor savoured two plain, poached eggs, resolving to take some home one day. His mind's eye showed his home's rituals, worlds away, mrul-filled bowls steaming. He smelled its comforting decadence. Soon. Outside, planting seedlings, Hektor trained his mind toward his Earthen students, out too, exploring, growing. He... Continue Reading →

Learning

Girl peers at alien, watches its smooth movements, long white hair shimmering in the sunset. Hens in the coop cluck wild like their party's gone wrong. Alien shows Girl how to lock the gate. There's a hen out though, and another. "Chickens," Girl points. "Ch-ck," Alien tries to form the word, it's been learning. "No,... Continue Reading →

Earth’ling

Readings returned slightly less than optimal levels, but their shuttle-mind assured them of safety. The first creature stumbled out, overwhelmed by colours. The browns and blues and golden yellows were not where they should be. And it hadn't ever seen so much green. Their journey from the dying world began generations ago, long before their... Continue Reading →

Warm Welcome

"Pathway closed. Rift secure," announced a warm voice, filling the air around two bewildered humans. Adult and child; woman and girl. A different being approached. Human, only in appearance. "Welcome," it said, robes fluttering, "we trust your journey was painless?" "Please help," the woman held the girl close, "she's-" "Yes, we'll take care of the... Continue Reading →

The End

Screams from inside forced the woman - visitor, friend - through to the master bedroom. She froze before the scene. "No-" a child, face of horror, backed away from the bed, "I tried to stop...it wouldn't- let me..." On the bed, the child's mother gasped for breath, "knew...I shouldn't have-" she clutched her throat, blood... Continue Reading →

Lost

The man took his eyes off his son for a moment, vision filled with the semi-transparent, augmented display of his son's latest medical assessment. They still didn't know what was in his son's head. What had changed him. Then his son was taken. The man looked away for only one, single moment. Years passed. Labelled... Continue Reading →

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