02 – New Game Plus

Stef kept her hands carefully at her sides as the suited guy walked half a step behind her, and just to her right – probably in a great position to grab her and subdue her if she stupidly decided to run.

With the speed of a glaciar, she lifted one hand and wiped at her face, her brain too numb to produce any more tears.

‘Just to your left,’ the guy said, as a pair of doors slid open.

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47 – Coincidence and Sorrow

October 9th

After the third of five performances, an intermission was called, and dinner was served.

Curt took a moment to peruse the dishes – most of the sides had been provided in dishes for the group, rather than for the individual – three different-coloured mashes, two pots of leaves representing nearly every colour in the rainbow, and in the centre, a small, decorated bucket of aole chips.
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07 – Combative

Magnolia turned in a slow circle, taking count of all of the combat recruits that had been shifted out. All but two were accounted for. She pressed a hand to her earpiece. ‘Merlin?’

‘Yupyup!’ came the too-loud response in her ear.

‘Yu and Johnson are still missing, send drones.’

‘Sure thing ma’amy-ma’am.’ Continue reading “07 – Combative”

03 – Constricted: Redux

The mirror tumbled overhead.

Stef fired.

The mirror rippled as the bullet slammed into it, a deep hole forming in one side, a long, sharp point on the other side, where bullet was trying to escape. She kept her gun pointed at it and counted down from ten – if it didn’t break, she’d fire again, mirrors might need a double-tap. The ripples in the silvery goop intensified, and at the end of the long, sharp point, cracks started to appear. Continue reading “03 – Constricted: Redux”

36 – Ohana

Stef opened her eyes. A jumble of nightmare imagery vanished under the scrutiny of the infirmary’s low lights.

Something beeped – an ECG. Familiar sound. Comforting sound. Sound that meant she was still alive.

She looked at the other pieces of equipment, at the various lines and cords leading to her bed and to her body, and she relaxed a little. She let her eyes close halfway and just listened to the soft beeping for a moment, confirmation that she hadn’t–

Her eyes opened again.

‘He – hello?’

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35 – Old Worries

Ryan coughed.

It hurt to cough. It hurt to breathe. It hurt.

He stared down at his recruit, trying to ignore the countdown timer in his HUD. The number was already too low, ticking away only seconds until his predicted death. He tried not to breathe, tried not to aggravate a wound that could tear open with the slightest provocation.

The emergency pack was the only reason he was still conscious.

The numbers continued to tick lower and lower.

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21 – With a Flash

The secret stairs.

Stef stared at the closed door, the door that looked like every other one – except it didn’t have a “You aren’t a person; you’re a number” number on it. They weren’t secret stairs; they were just classily concealed, but they still felt secret. Had felt secret. Had felt special. In light of everything that had happened, the sheen of adventure and mystery had worn off.

She required the key but yanked her hand back before putting it into the lock.

Another jiggle of the handle confirmed that the door was locked.

Require: door unlock?

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76 – Accomplished and Tasked

The memory glass in the windows showed a story on alien window, rain seeming to hit the glass while lightning arced over an unfamiliar city. The glass misted for a moment, then changed to a view of a pebbly beach, smooth purple stones leading out to a quiet sea. No image stayed for more than a few moments – the stimulation couldn’t hurt, and it kept the room from being static and dead and quiet. Curt checked the time on his phone again, and looked down at the hospital bed. Nine hours again, nine hours of being somewhere they couldn’t reach. She wasn’t dead, she wasn’t hurt, but she wouldn’t wake up. Continue reading “76 – Accomplished and Tasked”