May / June 100 Word Anonymous Challenge 2022

elvet

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Ignatius Headsmash and the Asteroid

'I wouldn't have panicked, it's four millimeters in diameter ...and 1.5 billion miles away.'

Ignatius Headsmash stared blankly up at the Chief Astronomer.

'Could happen to a bishop Naty ...ya forgot to carry the remainder.'

Nine minutes had passed since Ignatius crashed his Jetbike straight in the Observatory door.

He spent those minutes lying dazed and clutching a computer printout.

The Chief Astronomer spent three of those minutes climbing out from under his desk to revive Ignatius, and the other six reading the printout.

‘...read the printout ...meteor ...Earth …collision', was what Ignatius had uttered when he recovered consciousness.
 

elvet

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Flaw

The Entity of Everything was omniscient.

Old style omniscience was, in reality useless over distances because of the speed of light issue.

Enter 'quantum omniscience'. An exact model of the universe, every atom pool table perfect. All in a quantum computer the size of a small planet.

It could, for example, predict every bubble in a bottle of lemonade earthling Jim McIntire would open in 2057, it was that good.

It ran for many years before having a nervous breakdown. It realised that, no matter how well it modelled, the model of itself within its model could never be perfected.
 

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The ballad of Shannon Gogarsneacht

Shannon Gogarsneacht always gets what she wants.

'Relinquish your riches', ordered the robot.

Shannon was furious. Not just at being mugged by a robot. She was also four feet tall.

Which came as a disappointment.

And I got the blame.

'I'll leave this story unless ya triple my height', she demanded.

'And make me out of steel', she continued, 'with rockets that can shoot from my eyes. And chainsaws for teeth. And the ability fuse hydrogen.'

There was nothing else for it. Shannon is a very pushy woman. The robot (for the brief remainder of its existence) knew that too.
 

elvet

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Silva Locus

Halfway up the wall, a clay tablet is cemented in a gap in the brickwork, at its centre a borehole the width of a child's finger.

Light from the borehole projects an inverted image of the outside world on the porous wattle and daub opposite. Over centuries, this illuminated surface has grown a vertical garden, a living wall of radiation hardened climbing plants and mosses.

Vermilion and green, they gather in the track of the sun, and outline silhouettes of nearby trees from the ancient forest.

We saved the room. It stands inside another now. The forest is long gone.
 

elvet

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nootropics in the afternoon

The blister labelled Friday is triangular.
The tablet inside is powdery and orange in colour.
It smells sweet.
Thursday's is always round and yellow.
Wednesday's is large and oblong and I can barely swallow it.
I don't recall the others, but the pattern repeats weekly.
I like Friday's best.
"What about the little blue pill?"
I glare at the care assistant. "It smells of moldy tree bark."
"Too right it does," the carer enthuses. She winks. "I'll have it if you don't."
Later she asks me, "Are you happy?"
I reply without thinking. "Yes."
But really, what would I know?
 

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Blood Runs Deeper Than Oil

The New Luddite Club gathered in the back room of a tavern after a picketing gone vicious. The ceremony held therein concerned the acceptance of a new member into their ranks. Their president, O'Ryan, conducted it.

"How do you feel about bots?" he asked the stranger, who seemed somewhat nervous.

"They're a waste of time."

"Yeah? How do you feel about those metal no-brains trying to take our country from us?"

"It's a damned abomination!"

O'Ryan nodded in approval. He extended his mechanical left arm of his otherwise organic body. The stranger took his hand, his cybernetic right eye glowing.
 

elvet

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Zork Conglebonsch and the Spittletattle Social Media Platform

Zork Conglebonsch was a contrarian. He joined Spittletattle to let others know.

Tragedy at sea: Fishermen die as mutant shark swallows entire boat, announced one post.

'Serves the fools right for going to sea', typed Zork.

Boy dies in mountain lion attack, announced another post.

'Serves him right for going into the mountains', tut-tapped Zork.

Surveyors mauled by Bilgamonster on Woden, announced another post.

'Stupid fools for going to Woden', Zork typed.

'Your comments are ignorant and pointless', bleeped another Spittletattle account.

'It's shocking that somebody minding their own business has to endure such an unprovoked attack', replied Zork.
 

elvet

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Stolen Tides

That kindergarten metaverse is pretty useful, y'know? Just yesterday, my granddaughter Marta found a 3D model of Earth.

She asked, "Earth has rings? I didn't know."

I explained, "It had a moon once, a big one. The rings are all that's left."

"Where'd the moon go?"

"It got used up to make huge orbiting habitats, like ours. It took centuries. It was our first step towards the stars."

"So, it was a good thing?"

"Yeah… sure… it's complicated."

"Why?"

"It changed Earth forever."

Marta looked thoughtful, but a moment later she'd moved on.

She smiled. "I like Mars's rings better."
 

elvet

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The Two Views.

“This screen shows what he is seeing. Lines, curves, and gradient of grays with some movement. The left shows her view. Angles, colors, dark or light with much movement. The center show both views combined; what they are seeing together.”

Bold shapes and pastel colors formed the background as shared imagines became vibrant, sharp and defined. The butterflies, flowers, insects and other plants of the garden became distinct.

“They are very happy!”

Soon faces appeared; sad, angry then rage.

“What? What are those images? Maybe a glitch in the program?”

“No. Those are their combined memories. Is there a problem?”
 

elvet

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Prelude to a Caterpillar

“What do you see?”

“I see one thousand, thousand shining eggs; scratching the morning orange.”

“I see myself, reflected and strange and glowing.”

“I see bodies; mountains and hills of bodies; violent potential wobbling around inside spheres, masquerading as mere specks.”

“I see the infinite, wet and speckled. I see unfathomable threads of action stretching out from each orb into the warm dark of the unknowable.”

“I see an end. As each egg bursts, the universe dies and something new, sprinting and rickety, begins.”

Orlain wondered when xenobiology had gotten so deeply philosophical. She thought, probably, it had always been.
 

elvet

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A Change Of Perspective
When I was six I saw the Hussars parading and knew I wanted to be one of them. For the next decade I dreamt of wearing red and gold; of riding knee to knee, saber forward, against an enemy in blue and silver. Admired by all.
Then the war came. Like everyone, I answered the call.
“You, a Hussar!”, the recruiter laughed, “You’re for the infantry.”
A month later, in the trenches, I saw them again: gallant in red and gold, charging against blue and silver. It was heroic and beautiful and utterly pointless.
 

elvet

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'Here Comes the Sun...'

An early sunbeam found a tear in the curtains and boldly penetrated the gloomy room. It lanced straight ahead, as sunbeams are wont to do, and hit a wall.
The wallpaper was faded and moldy, clearly nothing worth illuminating. Slowly, slowly the beam moved right and down until it touched the corner of a... bed; a pallet, a threadbare blanket and some folded clothes as a cushion.
There the light fell on a girls face... Poor soul!… and the beam caressed it with its rays.
Cracking an eye open, the girl scowled and muttered, “Get lost!”
The sunbeam retreated.
 

elvet

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The Map

The topographical map of the Martian surface came into view. The orangish red surface was defined by curves and waves of varying tones of brown.

Shift!

The same pattern now became a low altitude view of sand dunes on a remote location of the Martian planet, reflected light indicating something down below.

Shift!

The same pattern now transformed into a partially sun lit cavern, hiding the native inhabitants from the terrestrial invaders scanning for them from above, the natives and organic droids in survival mode.

With a nice piece of sandstone and a perspective view, who needs Altered Augmented Reality?
 

elvet

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Vanishing Point

I got it from you, mother; this ability to see beyond the conventional. It was from you, not from my father who was never around. What might you have achieved had you lived in different times?

Now you are elderly I show you my work at the Space Centre, pushing your wheelchair into the hall that contains VP1.

“Do you remember teaching me perspective? I asked where the vanishing point lies, and you said nowhere, everywhere, an infinite distance away.”

You look at me, clutching my hand. A rare moment of lucidity these days.

“Mother, my VP1 is going there!”
 

elvet

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Comatose

Why doesn’t she hear me? Mom! Mom! It’s so frustrating to be here, to hear you, to feel you, to yell but you don’t respond. I’m here. Please hear me. I love you.

#

Lisa stopped reading and put down the book. She caressed the boy’s forehead, careful not to disrupt the myriad probes penetrating his skull. “Will you never wake up?” she said gently.

“Ahem, Mrs. Hammond?” It was her lawyer.

A long pause.

“The appeal’s been rejected. Life support will be disconnected at midnight. I’m sorry.” Another long pause, followed by fading footsteps.

Her son was gone.
 

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A face to stop a clock

'I’m sick of humans’, I said.

And I was. Stupid animals. No two ever see the same thing.

Anyways -I’m a robodetective.

And a damn good one.

Not like the two humans I sent on the stakeout.

‘Let’s try again, when did ye see the suspect?’​
Eleven‘, answered one.

‘Wrong, half ten; I’ll never forget -she was the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen’, argued the other.

Whaddya mean?, she had a face like a hemorrhoid operation gone wrong.’

‘She was stunning, and half ten was on the clock.’

Eleven, that clock was broken -her face must’ve stopped it.’
 

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The Night Shift

“Jeb, that one’s got a kid.”

“Look, Carl, orders were clear. Command said blast all the pods before they hit the blip.”

“But...the kid’s...waving at us!”

“Lemme see that” Pause. “Damn. Reminds me of my niece.”

“What do we do?” Fiddles with trigger guard.

“Cap’n Hoth watches video at night. He’ll know.”

“C’mon Jeb!”

Jeb frowns.

“Ok. Blast that one as it’s about to hit the blip.” Jeb points.

“The one with the sleeping geezer?”

“Yeah. The particle cloud’ll make it look like we got ‘em both.”

Carl smiles.

“You’re a good man, Jeb.”
 

elvet

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Sakura

In their world:

The demon soul smashed into the tree, both falling over. The Hunter in the sky above felt calm seeing the morning sunrise. Calling on his swords name Soyokaze no Sakura, he flew down while dodging the demons attack and with a single strike of the sword, sent it back to Jigoku.

In our world:

A sudden gust of wind blew the tree over, uprooting it from the ground and sending the people fleeing. Shortly after, the autumn morning was filled with the sight and fragrance from thousands of fresh cherry blossoms floating in the breeze.
 

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The Perspectives

“These plants are grown from artificial goop, injected into the ground by your robots!”

“But Dayna!” He pleaded with her.

“No Father, all of this is fake. It’s not real!” Gesturing to the vegetable garden around them.

“But Dayynnna, Dayna. I, I, I ddddd. Reboot.” He became motionless, slumping slightly forward.

“Father?” She asked concerningly.

“Hello Dayna!”, he stood upright, “Reloading from last conversation. But Dayna, I did all this for you.” Her father said moving caringly forward.

“What’s happing here?” She asked stepping back.

“My dear Dayna. Why can’t you see past this and just enjoy life?”
 

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How to Befriend the Lunar Settlement’s Grumpy Mad Scientist

“That crank is just a crazy old man!”

“How do you know? Ever talked to him?”

“Well, no. But he transcombobulated Selene’s cat into a pigeon!”

“Did not. Rupert said that and he’s full of it. I’m going to talk to him.”

“You’re crazy! He’ll transcombobulate you into a pigeon!”

#

There was a knock on the door, probably that obnoxious habitat kid Rupert again. He deserved to be transcombobulated into a pigeon.

But it wasn’t the brat kid. “What do you want?”

“Hello mister. I’m Tommy. Want a cookie?”

Mmm, the retired professor loved cookies. “Sure,” he said.
 

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