Favourite genre of music: Anything except Country and Christian
Personal Quote: Better to ask for forgivness later than for permission first.
We Let the Rain Speak Instead“Come on!” I shout, running up the mossy hill. The trees around us shake as the thunder reverberates throughout the woods. Light tries to peak through the cloudy sky. I glance down with a smile at Mark running up behind me.
The ground is wet and I take my next step, I can feel the dirt slipping out from under me. I start falling backwards to an abrupt stop when Mark softly catches me. “Careful,” he says, grinning. I kiss his cheek and grab onto his hand. He starts up the hill before me and pulls me up after him. The rain starts when we reach the top of the hill.
“Over here,” I show him over to a flat rock nestled underneath the bluffs; a cave of our own, almost, shielding us from the rain. I sit down and he sits next to me. I rest my head on his shoulder and smile.
The woods are beautiful, the pond peeking out just behind the trees. Moss and lichen grow on the trees and remnants of bird nests linger on the branches. The bluffs are on either side of u
Help! I've Got a Human!(We hope you’ve linked after following our Intergalactic Most Requested: Should I Be Keeping a Human? infoburst. If not, link it before continuing.)
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Flip OutHe’s at the door ag-
Loud. Never try and creep up on a paranoid woman with pre-menstrual hypervigilance and a pistol. I usually spend three days screaming at random people for doing things so trivial they didn’t know they were doing them – or even what the things were. Today, I’m shooting assassins between stomach cramps. Or overly cautious couriers. Makes no difference. Not now. Too many possibilities to risk compassion.
Like flipping through a book until a shape catches your eye, you choose a different reality. Quicker than a blink, a silent holocaust happens, leaving the world changed. If you don’t really like this one, flip on. You can’t go back. You might be able to resist your sudden memories of a life in the different reality – being the cause gives you a little leeway. But you can’t save anyone else. I tried.
I hear our coded knock, then hear his voice: “Don’t be silly, Genniphur, I’m on your side.
First to FallEvery anniversary of the counterstrike, they show that cursed video. You know the one: snow on the ground, ashes in the air, a lone woman in a ragged battlesuit moving cautiously across an open field. She’s gripping a Mantis 14 like the ancient beam weapon’s a holy relic.
She straightens, bringing the beamer up. The discharge is violet laced with blue lightning, a clear sign the main tube is overstressed. It also means the effective range is under eight metres. The Drandic were in no danger, but they didn’t know that. The pulsing green riposte is blindingly fast and actually comprised of two dozen needle-thin beams in a searing helix. Her arms go wide and she falls, pierced through. Hitting the ground, her limbs bounce once. The snow raised on impact sprinkles her body, mixing with the ashes caught in her dark hair. The field is still.
Music swells, poignancy segueing into stirring tones. From behind her – to the viewer’s left – a dozen battlesuited
Bad CyberThe Amour Club is light on love and heavy on by-the-minute. It’s popular with non-johns as the full-time privacy mode prevents surveillance and squashes infobuzz down to a whisper of priority feeds.
I usually enjoy being anywhere that quietens my ConstantTouch and serves JD in liquid form. But the Amour’s regulars are lowlifes who’ll never make it, because talk is cheaper than decisions and appearances are cheaper than experience. Tonight, however, I’m being paid to put up with them for a while.
“Lincoln Shields, as I live and breathe. Who cracked your rock and drove you into the light?”
The comedian on my left is Vinny Roe. The cybernasty on my right is Vinny’s latest goon, Clem. No surname on record. No specialities, either; he’ll do anything that pays him to hurt people.
Vinny waves at the ancient robot bartender – this place is so cheap it won’t even hire an android.
“Get Mister Shields another of whatever mouthwash
words to say to your reflectioni am a collection of dust and stars,
blue luster in a sea of inky void.
i am a tongue licking lips, clicking against teeth,
shaping sounds that matter.
i am the lightning that explodes in purple storm clouds,
four miles of haphazard beauty
on a lonely night.
i am the sea in autumn, still holding the warmth of a summer of sunlight,
though the air outside is cold
i am the snow at 6am.
i have not been touched, not stepped on. my surface is smooth as glass.
i am the snow at 6pm.
i am still beautiful.
i am the sound of rain just before sunrise
on a sunday morning.
i am the swirl of cream in a coffee,
blossoming and unfolding like a galaxy.
i am the smell of lavender
after a storm.
i am breathing.
Cold CoffeeThere’s a cold cup of coffee on the table by his hand. He can’t stop picking it up and tasting the liquid within, only for it to slide out again with his breath. The man sitting across from him wrinkles his nose at this, but won’t stop talking about the very important Paper in front of him and how everything would be so much simpler if Mr. Staden would just sign, thank you very much and enjoy the rest of your coffee without me.
Mr. Staden just looks back at the man and the papers, feeling the pen that he holds loosely in his left hand. It’s heavy, but looks cheap. He scribbles it against the napkin coaster and it doesn’t leave a mark, moving it faster back and forth just tears the paper.
“This doesn’t work,” he says, and he watches as the man—the lawyer—reaches inside his bag—his briefcase, where the other Papers are—and produces another pen, this one lighter, blue ink instead of black.
“Here, try this,