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Swampland

“Class, today is set aside for our recent graduates. Before embarking on his or her individual quest, each of them must complete the Sophist’s Emancipation Course. “Successful completion of the SEC requires a demonstration of virtue, vigilance and vigor. Intelligence without purposeful action is as wasteful as an upended jug of water. Our graduates will…

Farting Around with Zombies

“Daddy?” Mike licked his fingers before grabbing his big boy spoon. “What’s a vegetarian?” Abner chuckled, “A starving zombie.” “Dad!” Abner looked at his son’s serious face. When did his little monkey change into this studious inquisitor? He stopped laughing and gave his son an answer suitable for a six year-old. “Oh. Suzie told us…

Monkeyshines

The gods were angry. They had been told that they were as no more than a grain of sand in their sad little realm. This blasphemous eructation, spewed from the mouth of a leprous monkey, was overheard by Iris, the rainbow messenger handmaiden of Hera. It was she who used the power of gossip to…

A Plague Upon Both Spouses

Petri made a major discovery when he sneezed into his dish of jellied onion. He yelled for his wife, who came dashing in from their squash court, fearful that she were to be accused of some imagined wrong. “Marta! Come see!” She dug her fingernails into her palms, perhaps to counter the verbal onslaught Petri…

The Wizard’s Daughter

Tomorrow’s execution would be delayed no longer. All appeals had been exhausted; the wizard’s daughter refused to repent and the bishop had no choice but to make an example of her. To do anything less would only fuel the burgeoning unrest among the peasants. This close to the harvest, the king and his advisors were…

Trick or Treat

The calculator was upside down. No other error in history–recorded or lost to antiquity–could match Bob’s horrendous faux pas for its effect on the human race. Perhaps one could blame Hewlett-Electric for designing a perfectly square device with all buttons simulated beneath a touch-screen. Whatever the case, Bob told Irma the the required concentration was…

Alienation

Martians had no concept of prejudice. Their brains were wired like lobotomized slugs: each experience was new. Yet, their transcendent race had accumulated the wisdom to recognize xenophobia as it applied to them. I blanched at the unusual combination of smell and terror-inducing hisses emanating from my tour guide. “Plack manu frobbish, Gia?” What are…

Ancient Sunday

The exploit was crude, but effective. Molten Hail—aptly named—melted through firewalls before freezing servers. The only survivors were hardened servers specifically designed to test every byte passing through their ports. It was one of these computers that Jeremy was analyzing when Bertha walked into the lab. “Hi, Jer. What do we have?” “Hell if I…

Social Touchstone

Petri was giving a lecture at a university somewhere in the future: “Good morning, class. Today, I am going to teach you about the interconnectedness of all things. In the space of thirty seconds, one person can reach into the Resplendent Receptacle of the Universe, touch 100,000 other people, and leave an unremarkable stamp on…

Proxy Apocalypse – Molten Hail Reborn

“Let’s invent a new game.” Phineas stretched his mouth into an it’s-a-beautiful-morning wake-up yawn. “Sure.” Ferb, man of few words, scratched himself in pleasurable agreement. “I’m looking for inspiration. Say! This ancient desktop computer gives me an idea ….” Phineas opened the rusty metal casing to reveal dust balls and wires. “Eh, never mind.” As…