The Nanocosmetologist

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“Yes, I can answer that,” Kaira said.

She felt a thin layer of sweat forming along her temples.  She took a breath and forced herself to pause long enough to send a mental command through the processing patch just below her throat.  The four investors sitting before her probably thought she was composing her thoughts.  But she was actually commanding the nanoparticles on her face to shimmer and give her that classic “dewy glow” while other particles swept any excess sweat back through her hairline. 

Or so she hoped.  She was still in the process of calibrating and training the mental commands program. Continue reading

Magenta Banana

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“What if we do it on snow?”

“Snow?”

“Mitts, tell us everything you know about snow.”

I glanced over at Mitts, who raised her head and widened her eyes at the same time.  She looked between K.D. and me.    

“I don’t know much.  It didn’t really snow where we were.”

Mitts and her family had moved almost a year ago and ended up in our classes and our neighborhood—lucky for us.  The three of us were gathered around my kitchen table, tossing around ideas for our big final group project in Ms. Wallenwein’s life sciences class. Continue reading

The Renegade D.O.R.K.S.

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The newly appointed Captain Dorus gazed at his new crew, each one interviewed and hand-picked by him.  The not-so-hotshot pilot, Orson, who retired early after she was nearly killed flying into a star during a practice maneuver.  The experienced engineer, Rekha, whose tendency to tinker a little too much got her booted off the first four ships she was assigned to.  A doctor, Shade, who had no specialty because she kept getting distracted by new discoveries.  And the actor, Kellu, whose purpose there no one—including himself—quite understood. Continue reading

The Galvanic Ghost

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I am only a student.  That’s why she came to me, trusting that I would have a sufficient balance of knowledge and naiveté to serve her desperate need.

And I am woman.  That’s why she came to me, trusting that I would not mark her concerns as mere hysterics.

What was this strange and destructive condition she bore?  She spoke of hurting her husband and fleeing from her children so that she would never hurt them.  She spoke of being pursued by authorities in dark garb. Continue reading

A Simple Procedure

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It was a simple procedure. 

A simple procedure.

I would be admitted to the hospital overnight.  I had to be fasting.  Except for some clear liquid that the nurse would have me drink every four hours.  It contained some stuff that the doctor called “fixers.”  She explained that they were meant to help boost the efficiency of the procedure and help my recovery go faster.  Then she joked that they would “fix” me. Continue reading

Velutinus

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“At least no one died or was seriously hurt,” Dani said as she worked open the huge garbage bag that our faculty supervisor had given us.

Ameena nodded.  “I hope it stays that way.  I heard there are still a few people missing.”

“Why’d it have to be the computer lab?” Jon said.  His shoulders slumped as he looked at all the scattered papers and wrecked computer equipment in the room we were assigned to clean.  “Why couldn’t it have been the gym?”

“Or the cafeteria,” I added.  That made everyone chuckle and we started picking up the pieces according to the instructions that Ms. Quince had given us. Continue reading

Astral Andie is Angry

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“How long has it been…since I closed my eyes?” I asked.

The medical technician sitting beside my cot offered me a business-like smile and said, “Just about thirty-seven minutes.”

I frowned.  It had felt longer to me.  Almost two hours.  I had a crick in my neck.  The cot wasn’t very comfortable.  They didn’t want me to accidentally fall asleep.  I sat up and swung my legs around so I was sitting at the edge of the cot. Continue reading