The Tentacle

The Tentacle – May 24, 2020

The time machine itself was tied to a dock, looking like nothing so much as a segment of tentacle from a gigantic squid, only coming to the surface in defiance of natural law. In the late night storm, as the crew of four approached, it seemed the color had been leached away from the landscape, leaving a monochrome tableau illuminated solely by a single light atop a quickly constructed metal tower. The “sucker discs,” which gave the huge cylinder it’s cephalopod appearance, in the daylight might have been mistaken for semi-inflated innertubes, but they weren’t.

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Nix’ant

Nix’ant – May 16, 2020

Watching the sun go down, Kathleen Olufsen contemplated the day she had had and yet knew the worst was still to come. It was at times like this she wished she still smoked. She could have used the relief of inhaling some good old fashioned nicotine into her lungs and letting its calming chemicals do their trick. But ever since she’d come to Kepler-442b, which the first wave of inhabitants had nicknamed Nix’ant after the Gros Ventre trickster god, smoking had been off the plate. It was part of the conditioning built in during the hypersleep to get her, and all the other colonists, to the planet itself.

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The Beetle

The Beetle – May 10, 2020

So many things can be traced back a single moment. It’s probably cliché to say that, of course, since anything you do any choice you make, can lead you in a different direction. It’s like you’re constantly standing at a crossroads and the future is a back-handed superhero, beckoning you to do the right thing, make the right choice. But what if you don’t know what that choice is? What if the choice isn’t really a choice at all?

What if it’s something that just happens, an instinct or a reflex, which sets off a chain of events that has catastrophic consequences? What if I had never stepped on that damn beetle?

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