Calling Me Home – Spencer Nitkey

The entanglement circuit burns as it lights a fire right behind my eyes. I hear my daughter crying in the moments before the circuit switches. An imagined voice, I’m sure. Then the pain spreads like blood through my chest, and the stars outside the transport ship window slow, stop, and disappear. I come to in my bed back home. The baby monitor plays a low whine that crescendos into a full-scale cry. It is the …

A Picture of Home, in Silence – Alexandra Seidel

The soles on Sam’s first pair of shoes are worn and cracked, and she is tired. She craves rest, because the way home is long. Light reflects off tall stained glass windows, and because there were none of those in the research colony, Sam is curious, stops, walks away from the road, and enters the building. Years and miles ago, when Sam first came to the research colony, she was useful, and being useful helped …

They Build ‘Em Tough on Magna Mater – R.W.W. Greene

George’s voice crackled over the headset radio. “You going tonight?” “Not hardly. Pa fined me hard last time. Claimed I forgot to plug Bessie back in and cost us a day’s work.” Zeke spit a glob of bright orange newbacco juice into a can he’d taped to the inside of the tractor’s cockpit. “I plugged her in. Just didn’t have time for a full recharge.” “Like your Pa would know anything about a day’s work,” …

Time and Grace – Joseph Halden

Grace Soh was going to blaze across the empty American highways faster than anyone ever had, making it from coast to coast in a matter of hours: six if everything went as planned. The faster she got to the boost site in Oakland, California, the more money she’d make. Grace would pay damages if she was late, but she would also reap the rewards if she was early. People paid a lot to have their …

Exhibit 57-B from the Trial of Alonzo Montalvo v. MoodFoods Incorporated – Douglas DiCicco

Exhibit 57-B in the matter of Alonzo Montalvo v. MoodFoods Incorporated is brought to you by NeutralBot, today’s leading provider of AI-directed viewpoint-neutral video analysis. NeutralBot: because no humans means no bias. This transcript has been enhanced with NeutralNotes™, providing useful context and analysis where deemed appropriate by the NeutralBot AI. These NeutralNotes™ have been crafted by our state of the art AI to be relevant to Alonzo Montalvo’s claim that MoodFoods Incorporated must indemnify …

Pre-Triage – Joe Prosit

As of today, I’m a human crumple-zone. I saw to that myself. The highway network will see my car and label me the perfect impact absorber. There was a time I thought I had things all figured out. I had a good job. I had plans. Ambitions. Goals. A house of cards sent toppling down when they pulled my job out from underneath me. My severance package, nothing more than a handshake and an escort …