Havok Publishing

Tag - robots

The Belmont Stakes

One and a half miles. Seven thousand nine hundred and twenty feet.
That alone stood between Reese and the Triple Crown.
And eight other horses, but who cared about them? Not Reese, and certainly not her horse, Paddock Pizzazz, who butted his metal head against the starting gate, impatient. Smoke blew from the metal plates covering his nostrils, filling Reese’s lungs with acrid exhaust.

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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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You Dance Divinely, My Dear

Cooling my jets on a passenger transport from the outer planets to Mars, I was looking forward to conducting my research on pre-android robots from a safe, but observable, distance from Earth. Naturally, that’s when it happened.
The radio crackled and the captain of a passing freighter, leaving Mars for the outer quadrants,

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First Draft

“You understand what needs to be done?”
I place my hands on the cold surface of the coffee bar and glance over my shoulder to where Brody sits, hunched over a menu. He looks like a normal human, but my proofreading glasses don’t lie. I saw them flash blue, and his admission afterward

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Structural Edits

I’ve been caught.
No, only Meg noticed.
I reach for a new binder of case files. That inconsequential proofreader knows better than to report my errors.
Pen in hand, I skim the first file, spotting the typo underlined in red. Before I can process the information, the tech in my brain corrects any trace…

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Super Gus, Do You Copy

The glass roof of the museum’s atrium shatters, and I duck behind a pillar. Twenty-three rotund robots rappel through the jagged opening on extensible steel arms. Riding atop the center bot is a short, pudgy man in a purple-and-green-striped lab coat. Frizzy orange curls encircle his bald scalp like clouds around a shiny mountaintop.

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Typos are proof of humanity.
The Typo Alliance slogan fills my mind as I park and slip a file from my purse. I tap my glasses twice, activating the scanner to illuminate data.
I snap the file shut. Brody might

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The Pancake Maker

“Are you still working on that thing?” Mauldin shoved a handful of popcorn into his mouth and eyed the hunk of metal parts his brother was attempting to jimmy rig together.
“Yep.” Pablo paused and tilted his head. Pursuing his lips, he bent his head the other way. After a moment, his face

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I rushed to kick our jackets out of the way as Gran stepped through the front door. “Come in, Gran! Sorry about the mess.” I flushed. I had given this same apology every Friday night for ages.
I thought this might be the week we’d conquer the layers of detritus cluttering our apartment.

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The Price of Metal

Lykaina slid the box across the desk with a gentle smile. “A gift from the marshes of Hecate.”
Mr. Collins opened the lid and inhaled deeply. His eyes drifted closed. “Fresh cranberries. Marvelous.”
“Perhaps not the bounty one would receive from Demeter…” Lyka spread her hands. “But we share what is ours.”

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Before and After

The ball of light splits the forest in two, bouncing heat and ash off the canopy all the way down into the damp undergrowth. Where bits of debris alight on a rare dry patch, the underlying fungal layer, with sodden indifference, snuffs them out in a puff of smoke. A wide flat piece,

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