The Vessel Vespertilian

“Raccoons or orphans, whatever is back there, chase them away. Or chase this away. It’s your choice.”

I didn’t want to look at the glinting silver coin that he held up, but I couldn’t help it. This was not the coin I needed today, or ten days from now, or even ten years from now. I was prudent with my coin. No, this was the coin I would need when I was an old woman, assuming I wanted to be the type of old woman who spent her days sitting by a sunlit window, sipping on fruit nectar, listening to a happy dog bark as I read a book of my choosing for as long as I so pleased.

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The Lunarian

Pike tilted his head up slightly, so he could see more clearly through his helmet. He raised his arm and glanced at the detector in his gloved hand. With his other hand, he pointed straight ahead.

“That way,” he said.

Captain Tai drifted past him, holding her own arm up, so that the light beam panel on the forearm of her suit could illuminate their way.

The dark side of the moon was not just regular dark. It was pitch dark. If not for the trackers, and the back-up trackers, and the emergency back-up trackers, in their suits and their equipment, Pike would have at least hesitated wandering any farther into the unmapped region from which the anomalous signal seemed to be originating. More likely, he would have talked his captain out of venturing ahead altogether. Even more likely, she wouldn’t have needed to be convinced.

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Kairos and the Phantom

Something terrible had come into the world. Something evil. Invisible, intangible. Some corruption that could not be perceived. And therefore could not be fought. By the time it had a grip on someone, it was too late. The corruption seeped into every part of that person, defiling their heart, twisting their thoughts, draining the very life out of their body.

No land was spared. No person was spared, no matter how pure, how honorable, how fit of body, how courageous of heart. No place was hidden from this corruption.

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The Arcanomen

Who built it, none can now say. The ancestors of our ancestor’s ancestors might have known. But that knowledge—that name—was lost. It faded from memory. It even faded from myth. How it was built, none can now say. When and where it was built, none can now say.

But what the machine was and why it was is a story that still remains in the collective memory of the people who are descended from those who lived in the Age of the Arcanomen.

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Many Things Have Hatched

“Do stars hatch from eggs?”

The little girl glanced up at her aunt as the two sat on a fancy padded bench before the glass display.

Her aunt smiled at her. “Not everything that’s born comes from eggs. You didn’t.”

“Then where did I come from?”

“I’ll…let your parents tell you all about that. But if you want to know about eggs, I do have a story you might like.”

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Didymedicus

The royal physician, Galena by name, examined the festering bruise just below the king’s ribcage. The king lay in a sleeping stupor. A state he had been in for three days, and yet it was only now, and only by order of the queen that the royal physician was allowed to examine her king.

Galena peered down at the bruise, around the margins of which there appeared an oozing of bright purple fluid.

“I had thought him a fool, but a harmless one,” the queen said.

Galena did not look up as she answered. “Is there such a thing?”

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