Ben Van Dongen
Thomas rested his eyes. He pulled the authentic fedora down and put his feet up on his real wood desk. He hadn’t had a case in months, not that he expected any, but he was getting desperate. He didn’t need the money, the buyout he got when his tech start up was acquired gave him more than he could spend if he tried. His detective business was a dream that the extreme money and young retirement allowed him to fulfill. Thomas’ skills were with genetic programming, but his passion was detective novels.
The collection of folded and faded paperbacks was considered and eccentricity that kept other literary zealots away, but the genera fascinated Thomas. Using his time and wealth to recreate the office of his favourite detective and actually opening for business made him a kook, but he had the money to not care. Thomas even sprung for a human secretary. Big shots, like the CEO of Fresh Choppers, the top conglomerate in the world, didn’t hire humans, and Thomas’ did accents. He had insisted on having a woman, just like the books, but the old Bronx dialect was a bonus. He smiled thinking about it.
The afternoon quietly napped with Thomas. He considered heading down to the local watering hole to get the word on the street. The friendly neighbourhood bartender, paid by Thomas to play the part, kept his ear to the ground. The robotic ones never talked. He contentedly listened to the whir of the fan and the sound of his secretary randomly hitting keys on the typing machine. He swore it was called a typewriter, but she insisted it was a typerator.
Thomas decided to skip the trip to the bar and ride out the rest of the afternoon in the office. At five his secretary would come in and complain about how slow it was and about not getting paid. Thomas would assure her he would come up with the cash, though her fee was promptly transferred to her account weekly. The guys would be at his place for poker by the time he got there, then he would end the night by chronicling his adventure in his own detective novel.
With a stretch, Thomas sighed. It was in the slow afternoons that building and selling his company paid off.
“Mr. Holliday? Rachel, his secretary, called over the antique intercom. Her voice sounded tinny and hollow over the speaker, but the high-pitched nasal quality was all hers. Continue reading
Davis followed protocol as he walked the streets. The flashlight told him he didn’t have to be so uptight. It claimed that it could sense any disturbance, dimensional or not, but Davis felt more relaxed when he was doing his job.
They made another turn down a street lined with long low buildings. Some of them had bars and Asian restaurants and others housed book stores and pawnshops. They had all been deserted since the shift. With the first attack, people left behind everything they couldn’t carry. The zone was closed off as quickly as the military and corporations could manage. Dust, time, and the first creatures had their way with everything in the zones, but that didn’t stop people from trying to get in and scavenge. Davis pointed the flashlight at the broken windows and occasional holes in the walls of the stores, happy it still served its purpose. The crunch of Davis’ boots on the scattered debris was the only sound. Continue reading
Titan Run Part Three
Martin Sr. thought about how he hadn’t really taken a strong interest in the case surrounding his younger brothers incident. They got along well enough when they were younger.
When their mother passed away and their father was still heavily into his command. The two of them were sent off to the Academy on Mars, where their bond grew weaker. That didn’t change the fact that they were brothers, and he loved him. Continue reading
By Ben V
A red light mounted on the wall flashed as an announcement warned the guards that the door would be opening in fifteen minutes. It reminded them to double check their gear before the nightly orientation.
The room was simple. A large door took up an entire wall and separated the bureau, and the outside world, from zone five. Two rows of benches lined up facing the door where the guards sat and waited for their shift to start. A single door led off to the locker rooms. It was the only way into the staging area and the huge blast door was the only way into the fifth zone. The afternoon shift was ending and the night guards were preparing to take over, some of them for the first time. Six guards sat quietly waiting for the trainer to give the final announcement. Continue reading
By Ben V
A red light mounted on the wall flashed as an announcement warned the guards that the door would be opening in fifteen minutes. It reminded them to double check their gear before the nightly orientation. Continue reading
She remembered the stories that her father used to tell her about the construction of the moon bases throughout the solar system. Titan, the largest moon of Saturn, was their first attempt to build something more than just a base, it became a city, a ‘metropolis’. It spanned a huge part of the moon’s surface and housed well over fifty-thousand sentient life forms. Continue reading
“Damn it!” Alice hit the rig with her fists, frustration still coursing through her.
A few of the technicians in the Hangar ducked their heads and avoided looking directly at Alice. They had been chewed out too many times to count. She still couldn’t figure out why the satellites weren’t picking up all of the creatures.
The Hangar was quickly becoming a mess; piles of wires and open panels littered the floor. Alice was waist deep in them, her head ducking into the terminal and popping back out to keep an eye on the displays.
Her com-link crackled to life. “Any updates?” Map inquired. Continue reading
The agonizing conditions on the surface paled in comparison to the emotional turmoil that coursed through Kayla’s mind. Continue reading
Paul was more surprised by what he saw at the air field than by the appearance of Kate or the initial call that led to him going outside. A small rocket was sitting on the runway, standing almost as tall as the control tower. The tapered tip flowed into a tube shaped body, with a rounded bump in the middle and fins reaching down to the tarmac. Paul could see small structures surrounding the rocket that looked like everything it would need to actually fly. Thick tubes ran from the ship to the different structures, but he could only guess what they were for. Short buildings, that looked like quick military constructions, were in between where Paul stood and the rocket. When he and the little girl reached the edge of the field, six large men in gear that matched the girl’s, surrounded them. Continue reading
Alice could hear a crash over the comm-link. She scrunched her nose, placing the sound with the likelihood it had been Map’s foot bursting a door open.
“I’m in,” she heard Map inform her.
Alice rolled her eyes. “Graceful. Find a place to rest, the boffins are still working on your next move.”
“Can I make a suggestion?”
A smirk crawled onto her lips as she heard his question. “You can make it, but you know what that’s worth.” Alice lowered her voice, a serious tone overcoming it. “Stay sharp. Their signals are doing something.” Continue reading