Experiment #384

Wipple Gang: Klondike Part 2

“Can I help you?” he asked. 

“Old Man Cooter! So good to see you…” Mavis said trailing off as if he knew what she were talking about.

“Okay. Uh, what can I do for you?”

“How’s the weather?”

“I’d say rather cold.”

Having finished everything she could think to say, she just stared at him. 

“You three okay?” he asked. “Those two boys look like a coyote rung the life out of ‘em. You need a hot meal or something?”

Stank and … Read More

Experiment #383

Wipple Gang: Klondike Part 1

After the train job went South, both in the direction that maglev train went and in the cash that never left it, the Wipple Gang, me, “Stank” Foreman, and Mavis Wipple went on a “cleansing fast,” least that’s what Mavis called it. Stank called it rebelling against the “Food Czar” …whoever that was. I always just called it being too broke to eat. 

So we was hungry for work and for food when Mavis came to … Read More

Experiment #382

Wipple Gang: Gold Rush

We called ourselves the Wipple gang cuz Mavis said we should. Me and Stank had had our name on plenty of fool’s errands before so we were right fine with her taking this one. Well that and the fact that she could beat us up one side of the spaceport and down the other. 

When we looked at the state of our finances, which was to say we had none, Mavis got it in her head … Read More

Experiment #381

Wipple Gang: Prospect Part 2

She stood over him for a minute prepared to teach him another lesson. Just then Jimmy Fox, Johnny’s oaf of a brother walked in the saloon. 

“What’s this here?” he roared.

I looked at Stank. “Raise ya a stint in the cooler,” he said and winked at me. I nodded back. The bar fight that followed was one for the record books. They, Stank and I, still talk about the great brawl of ‘41 as if the … Read More

Experiment #380

Wipple Gang: Prospect Part 1

“I’d give her three days,” I said, “till this stink hole breaks her.” But I was wrong, it took a lot longer’n that. 

Lots a lost souls flew out here to strike it rich in the Plaskar deposits that were “everywhere.” Only problem was any vein big enough for a rumor to travel back to Earth was twice bled dry by the time the dreamers got here.

Beyond the fortune hunters. no one came here ‘less they … Read More

Experiment #379

Awakening Part 2

“One time the Mounties were playing hockey and one broke a bone and we were like, ‘Glad you’re not American, eh?’”

“And a rather terrible stereotype…” Samuel’s mind raced. He’d known Thaddeus for years. “a useless anecdote… Several accents in the space of a few lines. Oh, no… he’s—the author—he’s a hack—and he’s editing…”

Samuel felt the tomb falling down around him. The ancient stone and inscription melted into an alien planet with bright purple walls and … Read More

Experiment #378

Awakening Part 1

Samuel dropped to the cold, stone floor. “It—it’s safe,” he said.

He stood in a dim, underground chamber with hand-smoothed walls. An intricate carving lay ten meters ahead of him. Thin and ghostly, in the twilight beyond his lantern’s reach, he focused hard on making out the bits and bobs of the language he had studied half his life. 

He was an independent thinker; one the University couldn’t stop from completing this “fool’s errand.” If he was … Read More

Experiment #377

Frieeeeendship

The zombie traveled deep into the nuclear winter. The cold no longer bothered him nor made his limbs ache, but the nights when his body froze he had to wait for it to thaw to move on. The cat had followed him from the Southern coast all the way up to this winter wasteland. 

He moaned to himself as he shuffled forward with the cat still following. She sometimes left for days on end, hunting rats … Read More

Experiment #376

Meooooowww

The zombie shuffled along intent on nothing and nowhere. His insatiable hunger for brains couldn’t be satisfied here. Even at night he kept shuffling forward till he tripped and rolled head over heals to a stop. Having lost the sense of his limbs when he was infected, killed, and then revived by the zombie contagion, he could not tell whether they were all attached or not. He could see his right hand’s silhouette, ring finger … Read More

Experiment #375

Cat Braaains

Long after most of humanity had hidden itself away in the mountains to the west and ceded the land to the hordes, a lone, zombie shuffled through a trailer park. His horde had disbanded long ago and it had been months since he’d seen another zombie, years since he’d seen a human. He shuffled past double wide homes ripped apart by apocalyptic events till he neared one still mostly intact. 

He had no need for food … Read More

Experiment #370

The Valiant Part 11

Hank stared back.

“You took my boy from me,” Mr. Hess said. His voice quavered with emotion and with the effort the stroke forced him to put into every word. “And I want to see you burn in hell for it,” he said. He looked down at the floor for a long moment. He turned to look at Mr. Sturgess, at Sarah and Jimmy sitting behind the defendant’s desk, and at the judge before turning back … Read More

Experiment #369

The Valiant Part 10

“I never turned back to help him,” Hank continued. “I went straight ahead, praying only for Catherine and the baby. And the next thing I knew, the place exploded, just like I said…

“I took Catherine to the hospital. The baby, Rachel, she…she never had a chance. Catherine almost died too, her womb…ripped open like spaghetti. It was a miracle she bore Sarah a year later.”

Mr. Sturgess stood and though he faltered here and there, went … Read More

Experiment #368

The Valiant Part 9

“Please answer the question,” Mr. Sturgess said and shook the bag for emphasis. 

“It looks to be my spare grappling gun,” Hank said quietly.

“How do you think it got there?”

Hank looked down.

“How, Mr. Wipple, did this get in Bobby’s hand? Did he take it from you? But you and I both know that didn’t happen. Why then, Mr. Wipple, was Bobby lying on the floor holding a grappling gun? Yourgrappling gun?”

Mr. Sturgess leaned forward onto his feet … Read More

Experiment #367

The Valiant Part 8

“I called my contact, Sammy Sparts. He was a third-rate gangster and a first-rate drunk. He told me to meet him in an old warehouse south of the city. So I went.

“Sparts held a gun to my wife’s head. He seemed high, souped-up on some drug. But he didn’t have any men with him. It seemed odd, but I was too focused on my pregnant wife to worry about it.

“I tried to talk him down, … Read More

Experiment #366

The Valiant Part 7

Mr. Sturgess suppressed a sigh. “Please be more specific.”

“As I was trying to explain, I had kept my identity secret. I was worried some criminal or nut job would come after my wife, my family. I’d just helped put away the two youngest sons of the Ganglia family, and they were champing at the bit to find something they could use to get me.

“But since my identity was secret, when the merchandising company tried to … Read More