Experiment #327

Oxygen Part 2

“Shooooweeee, you sure you didn’t pee yourself, Mr. Johnson?” Dave asked loud enough for Mrs. Dinkle across the hall to hear. “You stink like a skunk in an onion patch.”This just the latest in a string indignities. “Don’t worry, Mr. Johnson, we’ll get that shirt on right-side out!” “It’s all right, Mr. Johnson, everybody poops their pants sometimes.” And “Well, well, Mr. Johnson, still at it, aye old-timer? You thinkin’ about Mrs. Dinkle last night?”

Johnson … Read More

Experiment #326

Oxygen Part 1

The astronaut breathed in and out, clinging to that most basic of human motions.

In and out…

In and out…

He’d fallen face down in the dark, red sand. His arms and legs spread out on both sides. Scratches, dents and a fine coating of red dust covered his grey suit.

He looked at the oxygen readout on his arm panel: 10% and falling.

In and out…

In and out…

#

“Hello, Sunshine,” Dave sang as he threw open Johnson’s door at the … Read More

Experiment #325

The Time Machine

Sam built a time machine out of two scratchy blankets, a transistor radio, his favorite pinwheel, and the thing that beeped beside his bed. He set the dial and left for the future.

The next day, when his mother came to visit, he told her of the wonders the future held. Of the amazing gadgets that cleaned the house for her, made dinner every night, got those bloodstains out of his sweater, and eradicated brain tumors. … Read More

Experiment #313

Inevitable

“You want to break up?”

“Yes.”

“Okay…”

“It’s not working.”

“It seemed to be yesterday.”

“It’s not now.”

“What happened? I think I deserve some kind of explanation.”

“I took the pill, I know what happens—what’s going to happen.”

“I told you not to do that.”

“Well, what can I say? You become a horror show.”

“Holly, just yesterday I asked you to marry me and today you’re trying to kill our relationship.”

“I told you I took the pill. I saw our future.”

“A bunch of … Read More

Experiment #311

Guerilla Tactics

The truck crumpled as it smashed into the spaceship’s shield. 

Sam signaled his ragtag assault team. Four men, three women, and three teenagers followed him toward the spaceship, weapons drawn. Two of the four guards had run for the truck. Seventeen clumsy shots took down the two at the door, but a man and a teen fell. 

Sam’s palm unlocked the door. They piled inside dragging their felled companions. They ran to the bridge, dealing with guards … Read More

Experiment #310

Digital Debt

His hand fell to the floor, limp. The drug surged through his veins like the floral pattern on the walls. Consciousness drained from his body with equal force. 

She threw open the door. Drool dribbled down her son’s chin. 

“No!” she screamed and yanked the needle from his arm. She pulled a syringe from her pocket and plunged it into his neck to stop the download. She prayed that his mind was still intact. 

His eyes fluttered open. … Read More

Experiment #309

Anonymity & Interdimensional Identity Theft

Anonymity

On the train, somewhere between Bleaker Street and Sunset Avenue her powers disappeared. Before, she’d been followed, liked, and “hash-tagged.” She’d been the center. But the conversation moved on. Now, she was ordinary. 

She sighed, smiled, laughed, cackled even, till the man next to her took a video and posted it. 

 

Interdimensional Identity Theft

Dimension hopping takes a lot out of you. Meeting yourself and loved ones in new, exotic places is fun but exhausting. Plus replacing yourself … Read More

Experiment #306

Two-Bit Town Part 8

With Keel’s help they shut off the M-coder. Rille wanted to destroy it, but Gideon stopped her. “We get you out and then we turn it back on.”

“Why?”

“Because these people can’t handle another attack.”

“You think an M-coder will solve their issue, marking my kind so they can be hunted?”

“No, but if you take a shepherd’s bullets away without telling him, what’s he supposed to do when the wolf comes?”

“So, you don’t take his bullets away? … Read More

Experiment #305

Two-Bit Town Part 7

“Awe Flarky Flarktown.” Rille said. She ran down the shaft, hoping Gideon was still in there. A few hundred feet down the shaft she came to a set of guards standing outside a makeshift room. One with metal bars on the door’s window. She screamed and leapt at them as soon as she saw them. Her skin burned a fiery red as she landed and knocked both out with a punch each.

She yanked off the … Read More

Experiment #304

Two-Bit Town Part 6

That night Rille found Gideon’s room empty so she staked out the bank on her own.

When morning came and he still wasn’t there, she made s few calls to her less than legitimate contacts and learned he’d been taken to an old mine twenty miles outside of town. She got on Gideon’s Morse and set out for the location.

The area surrounding the town was one large rolling pile of rocks and boulders. The Morse was … Read More

Experiment #303

Two-Bit Town Part 5

They staked out the bank again that evening and the next without anything useful. On the third night Gideon sent Rille to the other side of the bank to have a different view. Gideon wondered if he’d misheard the code, till on the fourth night someone put a knife to his neck.

“What are you doing here?” A voice asked.

“Well,” Gideon said, “I’m trying to prevent a robbery.” He grabbed the attacker’s arm and rolled forward, … Read More

Experiment #302

Two-Bit Town Part 4

Gideon woke at the knock on the door.

He pulled on his pants and tucked in his shirt. “Coming,” he growled.

He opened the door to see Rille in a revealing dress and leaning coquettishly again the door jamb. “Hello,” she said.

“Come back when you want to talk,” Gideon said and swung the door shut.

Rille pounded on the door. “Open up.”

Gideon opened the door again.

Rille pushed past him in a huff and sat on the bed.

Gideon turned, … Read More

Experiment #301

Two-Bit Town Part 3

That evening Gideon rode down Main Street and out of town on his Morse. He missed his Falsparian anti-grav bikes, but he’d lost both in the scuffle the former sheriff had referenced. And getting a new one from the central colonies would take more credits than he could legally get his hands on. Thus, he was stuck with the loaner Morse.

After nightfall, he returned to town with his Morse on silent. He stashed his Morse … Read More

Experiment #300

Two-Bit Town Part 2

Gideon asked around town about a translator, but the former Sheriff Rodgers was the main one. There were others, but no one willing to help an outsider. No one spoke to the undertaker, or any undertaker unless they had to. Burying bodies was all it took to be an undertaker. Funerals weren’t much more than a few words and a prayer supplied by the bereaved. When there were no bereaved it didn’t much matter what … Read More

Experiment #299

Two-Bit Town Part 1

Gideon straddled his Morse. “Morse,” Gideon said under his breath with contempt. “They ban weapons here, but not stupid names.” “Morse” was a combination of “mechanical” and “horse,” and, Gideon was certain, the idea of some hollow headed fool in one of the central marketing departments who’d never even been to the Aphelion Worlds. Worse yet, the Morse was made by the Slixx company who shipped nothing else out to the edge Worlds. In his … Read More