Smoker

"That's the dumbest shit I've ever seen." Kai had envisioned a more enthusiastic response. "Just wait," he said, "you'll have one too by month's end; I guarantee it." He slurred his words around the snorkel-like mouthpiece. It would take some getting used to, he admitted to himself. Maddox plopped down onto the old worn armchair,… Continue reading Smoker

What Could Go Wrong?

...Researchers in Boston today announced they've completed genetic mapping of Argiope bruennichi, commonly known as the wasp spider, indicating that they've isolated the genes responsible for manufacturing dragline silk. Known for its toughness, ductility, and strength-to-weight ratio, there are numerous applications for... ...but while they appear unremarkable, these dairy cattle are part of a long-running… Continue reading What Could Go Wrong?

My Summer Vacation

"Next up is Leighton Decker." Leighton walked to the front of the class, dragging her feet as she walked so that her polka-dotted boots—her favorites, though entirely out of season—scraped loudly against the coarse carpeting. Twenty-three blank faces stared at her in wait. By the end of the year she'd be able to perform the… Continue reading My Summer Vacation

The Encryption Ward

Sawyer Trill was intuitive, observant, and a quick learner. He was a talented coder. Dealt a different hand he could have led a comfortable happy life. Instead, the most responsible role model he'd had was his mom's hush dealer--guy called himself the Glass Man, and everyone else did too because his real name didn't matter.… Continue reading The Encryption Ward

Storm Clouds

Lori sat on the lush grassy hilltop beyond the creek that wound its way through her grandfather's back yard. The autumnal equinox wasn't for another week, but already the air was cooling and the light breeze carried the white fluffy seeds of cattails. For awhile she simply enjoyed the uninterrupted chance to let the sun… Continue reading Storm Clouds

Bloodrunning

Peyton nervously bounced her leg, making an exceptionally loud jangling sound as the chains of her shackles rattled against the steel of the floor and bench. The holding cell at Top End Spaceport--outside of Darwin--was little more than a seat in the center of a three meter cube. The ceiling was one big light panel,… Continue reading Bloodrunning

Copies of Copies

They were still called printers, but the machines were unlike anything imaginable to Gutenberg, or Galvani, or Gates. They looked like empty rooms. Drop in your raw material--didn't really matter what it was, as long as you had enough mass--and let the nanomites turn it into something else. Turn ashes into drinking water; spent power… Continue reading Copies of Copies