Havok Publishing

Tag - science fiction

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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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The Engineers

The rising twin suns peeked over shining blue mountains, casting their gaze on Woźniak’s hulking frame as he dipped his paintbrush into the can.
inside the cabin, a crackling record started playing and a centuries-old ghost sang about trees of green and the beauty of red roses.
Woźniak watched small droplets

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The Loophole

The synaptic probe slides into my brain, battering down the doors to my treasured memories. There is no time to prepare for the pain. Instead, I focus on the memory of a kindly old face.
Would my creator be proud of me?
“Are you smiling, RS-47? Such emotional mimicry will not hold sway here.”

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Iron Hood

By Meaghan E. Ward I lean harder against the apartment wall and press a mask to a little girl’s face. Outside, ash rains on the desolate streets of Mid-level, Sector 4. The staticky hiss of the blast cannon’s recharge and the click of heavy boots echo from everywhere and nowhere. “Did I not warn you?”

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Cat Got Your Tongue?

You receive notice of your next evaluation at Culebra Research Institute one hour before the top boss arrives. You are today-years-old when you discover Dr. M. Roswell is a cat.
She pounces atop the papers on your desk. “Dr. Jonas, your most important project is behind schedule.”
The cat can talk! You leap to

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Flair

Danil raised his binoculars to his eyes, scanning the buildings below him. From his perch in the clock tower, he could see the necessary details from a great distance.
Apartment 203’s curtains were pulled back, allowing him to survey a tidy living room. He panned his binoculars to a church across town.

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Hope Never Dyes

Olivia held a test tube up to the gray sky. Diffused light filtered through the greenish water. Please, let today be the day. She propped the glass against a rock and dug out a pack of litmus strips. “Maybe once the silt settles—”
“Probably not.” Mari’s hazmat suit crinkled as she walked past.

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Refurb

The rowdiness in the mall stretched for miles. I watched from a distance as people flocked the hallways, leaning over balconies to gape at the waving, smiling bot in their midst.
Thomas900.
Thomas’s robotic voice matched mine. He was tall like me, but with inward curves in the middle and a spherical base.

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Island Palm

Green was her favorite color. Linzi used to call it the color of life. She was such an unusual child; she’d even begged to have the house shutters painted in Island Palm.
Now when I see green, it just reminds me of her death.
I sit next to the rain-splattered window, catching

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Red Shift

The captain brought the rubber stamp down on the document and frowned at the blood-red imprint.

“This makes grim reading,” he sighed. His stare burrowed into the chief inspector’s face. “You found no evidence of survivors?”

From across the desk, he watched Holzfäller fold her hands across her lap.

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Inverted

I run backward through time, toward the mushroom cloud that will soon be my invention warehouse, thankful that the inversion suit I’m wearing wasn’t destroyed in this inferno.
The eruption shrinks over the warehouse, and the fire bursts bright before reassembling the near end of the building.
Perfect.
I run in through the

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The Color Gold

The table was cold against my back.
“Mrs. Young, before we begin the Neurological Reinvigoration Process, we have to ask you some final questions.”
I nodded.
“I’m sorry, Mrs. Young, but we need you to give us verbal confirmation for all questions. Do you understand?”
I started to nod, then caught myself. “Y-yes.

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