Long Distance Call

Swirling pixels in Ian's periphery indicated an incoming call. He begrudgingly answered, letting the feed overlay his vision with minimal opacity. He didn't want to lose a finger. "Hello, Jenna," he said, knowing how much she hated it. Sure enough, she frowned. The expression fit her wrinkles precisely. "That's no way to address your mother."… Continue reading Long Distance Call

Not My Circus

The first and most obvious sign of trouble was the trees. The trunks were charred black from the ground up to three meters, above which the bark appeared normal in every way, forming a strict border. Valentine spun in a circle. The whole forest was like that, burnt below three meters, straight and flat as… Continue reading Not My Circus

Stealing Secrets From the Dead

She didn't feel a pulse, and he wasn't breathing. He was dead; the dumb kid was dead. But River wasn't about to call the authorities. Her little 27-hour tea shop enjoyed the best Net connection on the planet because she'd tapped into the government hardline by digging down to it through the basement. It made… Continue reading Stealing Secrets From the Dead

Wired

There was a portrait on the wall, and for some reason Kilbourn couldn't take her eyes off it. It was black ink on canvas that had grown sickly yellow-green long ago. She couldn't decide if the face was a man's or a woman's. Every time she thought she'd made up her mind those eyes seemed… Continue reading Wired

Intro to Endings

"Over the last several months, you've trained hard, and you've learned how to kill." Commander Imogen Diver paused while the would-be operatives elbowed each other and snickered with self-satisfaction. "This week, you're going to learn how to die." That shut them up. She stood in the shifting light of the projector, watching cold fear wax… Continue reading Intro to Endings

Memory Games

There was a high droning hum. Ice water came down in buckets like razors licking at her cheeks and shoulders and thighs. Oh, she thought, it's me; I'm screaming. I thought I was dead. "Wake up, Violet. Wake up." Her body was a vague outline in her own head, a far away pain that she was tethered… Continue reading Memory Games

Architecta

"What's it feel like?" Marvin put his finger to his chin and looked to the ceiling. "You ever laugh so hard you pissed yourself?" he asked. "Yeah..." "Well it ain't nothing like that." He went back to strapping down my arms. "That's kind of messed up, man. You shouldn't ever admit that. Don't tell anyone… Continue reading Architecta