Havok Publishing

Abigail Falanga

Sphinx Industries

“We here at Sphinx Industries pride ourselves on ensuring that your property and information are secure…”
The pleasant voice of the promotional video drones on for the forty-seventh time—slight exaggeration—since I got here two hours ago. Long enough so that everyone has forgotten I’m here. I’m the kind of person people forget

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Out of Order

You arrive that first morning at Cibola High School with low expectations. This is the muggy, muddy, backwater of Florida. The only bright side: you can absolutely dominate the social scene.
So, you enter with a bright smile directed at everyone from that hot basketball captain to the wallflower girl and even the custodian

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No More Tears

Tari watched incense drift to the ceiling. After the ceremonies ended, when the artificial gravity automatically shut down, the fragrance would fill the pyramid—weaponized by the addition of a toxic compound. The haze would obscure the gold and precious jewels that glimmered from every surface, deterring any graverobbers who made it past the complex

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Archer

The suspect’s face lit up as I entered the interrogation room.
Great.
I offered a glare and settled into the hard metal chair, arranging an impressive stack of files on the table. “I understand you’ve waived your right to legal counsel at this time, Mr. Archer, so I’ll proceed directly to questions

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Screenname: Aladdin

I crush the earpiece under my heel, then look around the dark alleyway, trying to control my breathing.
No sign of pursuit, either from within the sleek building I just exited at nearly a run, or from outside where my employers—whom I have good reason to believe want me dead—are

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The Debt

The shadows of rocky outcroppings stretched across my path as the sun lowered toward evening. It was dangerous to be alone this late—I knew it well. But my feet drew me onward, until the caravan was lost to the hills behind and even their voices and the noise of the camp faded.

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A Trial of Pride

The windship settled in the clearing beyond the edge of the village. Grruha cut the engines, then sat in absolute stillness with his paws still on the controls. His eyes narrowed as he scanned the savannah from the viewports.
The village stood eerily quiet.
“Let’s see what emergency summons us!” Larru was already…

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Revenge is Icing on the Cake

“Contestants moving to the final round of Galactic Best Bakers are…!”
The host, a green strellcat, paused dramatically.
Spotlights swirled then froze on the contestants, glaring right in Jareth’s eyes.
Jareth had watched every episode of the last three seasons of this, the most popular show in the civilized universe. Research was…

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The Magic of Living Things

Gray sky. Gray walls. Black iron gate.
“Do your magic, girl!” Shouts harsh as gravel. “Stop holding back. We know you can do it!”
Dirt brown boot, crunching into her side. Dung-colored ground.
Whimpering, Alia pressed into the corner. One of her captors seized her by the hair and dragged her forward…

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Tempest in a Teacup

With a final cry, I swept the ogre’s foul head off his body and sidestepped as he crashed to the ground beside his two brethren. Before the dust settled, I bounded up the hill to their lair, whence black smoked billowed. They kept their ill-gotten treasures within—and their captives, who cried piteously

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First Battle

“Again.”
The voice that reached Pulsar along the communications thread was neither impressed nor impatient.
Pulsar pivoted away from the smoldering target at the edge of the training field to face the figure near the far-off arsenal. “But Master U’drec—I executed the maneuver perfectly! Why—”
“Return to start position, Squire.”

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A Respectable Old Family

Comforting scents of spice, herbs, and fruits filled the wood-paneled room, cozy enough to distract from the cold rain—and the woeful news. Mistress Millet dipped a carved cup into the pot simmering over her fire, then shuffled over and set it in front of Ivy, who wiped away a tear she pretended

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