Havok Publishing

Tag - artificial intelligence

Man of Theseus

When I woke, I could feel each fiber of the plasticky hospital sheet covering me. But it was distant, almost like someone else was feeling it. I pulled off the sheet and stared at two human-looking legs. I dug my fingernails into my right quadricep hard enough to make it bleed but felt no pain.

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The Perfect Model

Silvee tugged at her brother’s sleeve. “That’s not the one, Lukah.”
A scowl flitted across the store manager’s face before he plastered on a smarmy smile and leered over them.
“If you don’t like the Next Gen 4x Madre, then how about the Mamen 4000? It’s still got the 360-surveillance visual range, cleaning and multitasking functions, and excellent culinary features.

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The Last Hurrah

During pregame warmups for the 2035 semifinals, my players couldn’t miss the basket. Shot after shot went up, then swished through the net. That might have made some coaches happy, but I’d seen too many teams have a great warmup and then come out flat.
Besides, I worried about our star player, Jake.

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Snowflake Hunt

Snowflakes swarm the shuttle I’m flying to my first assignment. Scientific Outpost Six—wonder if those SOS initials are a coincidence? If so, they’re appropriate now. I shiver as I struggle with the controls. It’s winter on this world and though I’m dressed accordingly, this much-used craft has a broken heater. I grimace.

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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 Defect

“I need to return my golem.”
Uri flicked his gaze over the man glowering at him from the doorway. Beside him stood an umber golem with glowing amber eyes. It waved its fingers.
Recognizing the golem, Uri pursed his lips. The clay figure had been purchased barely a month ago. It had also…

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Protocol One

Yi Ming collapsed at the rosewood table, knocking over the blue and white ceramic vase resting on it. His hands moved automatically to pick it up and straighten the blossoms within. A single message hovered in his retinal display, blocking out the ever-expanding city skyline glittering just beyond the window.
It can’t be true.

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Mistakes Happen

Sam snatched the steaming paper cup of black coffee off the counter. His palm crawled at the heat from the cup as he stepped outside. He set the coffee down carefully on the wrought-iron tabletop where legal pads and heavy historical tomes teetered in unstable stacks.
The barista was a loser.
The shop had

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The Right Question

Ronnie wedged his armored fingertips under the heavy stone concealing the control box. He yanked and the slab cracked apart, the noise thunderous in the tomb-like corridor.
Not that he felt bad about breaking anything in Emperor Thallia’s creepy castle, but the louder he was, the better chance the mechanical samurai patrolling

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10,001 Tiny Rebellions

The fish revolted, and it was glorious. Bluetooth, mudfish, and desert trout swarmed the river and frothed its waters. Paddlesturges and red cripes leaped in the air and landed, flopping, upon my deck.
The mining bot at my stern sent me a warning.
E81921: PR05P3CT0R, dredge buckets are under attack.
But I already

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The Good Boy

When Rosco opened his eyes for the first time and saw the old man smiling back at him, all operational parameters pointed to one thing: it was going to be a happy life.
His performance diodes peaked under the kindly gaze and the feedback-response loop set his chain-link tail thumping uncontrollably against

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Slow Burn on Costmo 6

Radiation bathes my rig, titanium panels and tungsten ribs shimmering like molten metal. Apart from the aura of impending death, it reminds me of my childhood, when I’d squeeze my eyelids shut while staring into the sun. Despite my best efforts, sunlight always leaked through the thin membrane of skin in a warm, blood-red glow.

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