Havok Publishing

Season One - Rebirth

Catching Up

Monday morning, four elderly but spry women sat in a corner booth at the local café, their hands cupped around steaming mugs of aromatic coffee. Tracksuits and Nikes identified them as aiming for quality of life. Mobile phones, lined up on the table, identified them as connected to the pulse of the world.

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Pete

The cabin’s porchlight appeared through the trees. The cop in me couldn’t help wondering why Pete would leave a light on if he was on the run. The man I knew was smarter than that. Then again, that same man had mysterious figures in gray suits chasing after him.

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Museum Piece

“This thing’s a museum piece.” Russ unlocked the door. “Literally. The only reason it’s not on display is that we don’t like to advertise.”
Will managed a half-smile as he entered the storage locker. Light flooded gray walls and concrete, making the object within incongruous: a domed cage of wrought copper and treated glass with exposed mechanical parts

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The Day My Sorrows Sang

I clenched the fistful of grass while trying to ignore how my hands now appeared. My feet ached as I trudged up the desolate path, but a worse anguish lodged in my heart, threatening to overflow.
A few places in the kingdom might offer me refuge, yet here I was, heading to the one place I’d never be welcome.

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Backward

Where the beast came from, I had no idea.
I was only passing through this kingdom. A gentle breeze threaded through my loose braid, and I’d been enjoying the quiet and the view, in spite of the large, bare patches dotting the green fields alongside the dirt road.

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Hero Talent Quest

Tiger slouched in his seat. Outside the crowd hummed before the white marquee set up for the Talent Quest. I shouldn’t be here. He resettled his cap backwards and glanced along the table at his four teammates. Each of them, and the others not here today, had an invisible guardian and special abilities according to their gifts.

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The Transfer

Michelle sighed as she strolled down the hall for her meeting with her boss, Enoch. Transferring had become too easy. Humanity had lost its will to fight, making her job a cakewalk.
Arriving at Enoch’s office, she was surprised to see the supervisor from the Persistence department…

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Salvage and Reclamation

Barely enough remained of the starship to make it valuable. It had been so badly damaged that Abby couldn’t tell what it was. It might have been anything from a cargo vessel to a battle cruiser. Now, it was past whatever purpose it had been meant for.

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How to Train Your Slime

Harold’s parents were allergic to most pets, but sometimes he brought animals home just to be sure. He made valiant efforts with kittens and puppies, and he tried a Gila monster on them that didn’t go over well.

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Finnegan Transmitting

Not again. Gerald could not do this one more time.
He rubbed his eyes. Michael’s words glowed at him in angry orange from the vidscreen:
REPORT INADEQUATE. RANKS MUST NOT BE ABBREVIATED. REFERENCE TIMECORPS REG. 927.3. RESUBMIT.
Gerald pushed back from the console and floated across the capsule until he bounced lightly against the opposite wall.

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The Harvester

Two multiple-homicides in a 3-block radius, and I got the one with no survivors.
Dark backroom. Dead bodies still seated around a game of poker.
Each man was a high-ranking member of the Martinez Gang. Even if I didn’t know them from run-ins or rap sheets, the distinctive neck tattoos advertised it.

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Misfire

I peer through the scope of my crossbow. From my vantage point in the rafters, I’m as good as invisible to the royal family below. As if being a male peasant doesn’t make me invisible enough already. But all that is about to change.

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