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Bee Cause Célèbre

“Catastrophic Colony Collapse Threatens America’s Economy” was the screaming headline that greeted the early morning readers taking tea and scones at Boulangerie on the Boulevard. Ignored by the bourgeoisie and misunderstood by the proletariat, the Wall Street Journal’s front page story nevertheless signaled a shrugging of Atlas unlike anything foreseen by Ayn Rand and her…

The Cracked Mirror

Detective Ragbone shook a small amount of graphite onto the frame, while marveling at the unnaturally uniform craquelure of the forged Venus in the Mirror. Having momentarily forgotten the gravity of the current scene, he quipped, “Even Rubens knew better than to daub a perfect crack.” “Ragbone! Decorum, please.” Inspector Wiggins coughed into his hand.…

Swampland

Swan Vee considered her options. The ink was barely dry on the sheepskin before her mentor banished her from Swamp Logos. Her home since birth, the swamp represented the womb of familiarity, the hearth of confidence and the shield against the unknown. Now she was ready to deal with the landscape beyond the Perimeter. She…

Galactic Chess Champion Slain

The checkmate was flawless. The bloody aftermath was more of a mess. Raven Spassky’s body lay in a puddle of its own fluids, most of which had leaked from multiple holes in her flimsy aluminum armor. Whoever had said plasma was a source of clean energy had never fired a shot in anger. I’m glad…

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…

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…

My Etch a Sketch Kvetch

Terraformer 2000 came with a microphone, but no manual. It was the latest software from Landforms, LLC., a virtual replicator for the hologram television entertainment platform. Landforms specialized in virtual landscapes for Massive Arco Multiplayer Universes (MAMUs.) I put away my Cheerios, sat back and flicked on the mic. The mic searched for and found…

Awesome Business Opportunity

So, I decided to go to Yet Another Ground Floor Once-in-a-Lifetime Make Money Fast Pyramid Scheme. As I walked into the auditorium, I took note of several things. First, the greeters outnumbered the guests two to one, and they appeared to be swarming, hovering and buzzing around the hapless visitors. Second, a befuddled young man…

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…