Havok Publishing

Tag - space &/or planets

Stranger in a Stranger Land

The summer I first traveled to America, my father wore a red shirt so I could spot him in the crowds. Let’s just say that system doesn’t work if other people are wearing red shirts and you’re a five-year-old who can’t see above anyone’s butt.
As soon as we joined the mob in front of JFK to catch a cab, I got separated from Dad.

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Playback

On the evening of June 20, the president sat alone in the Oval Office, reviewing intelligence reports. The peace talks in Paris were going well—at least enough to silence the protesters at home. His reelection committee had hit a minor snag, but they were managing it. As long as he could distract the public…

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Attack of the Drones

“Night, Alex,” my buddies called as they climbed into their car.
I waved as they drove away, then headed inside to clean up. I brushed popcorn off the sofa and collected plates of half-finished pizza. The end credits of the sixth movie continued scrolling on the TV and I bobbed my head with the music.

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The Alien in My Pocket

In my defense, when the aliens have the size and consistency of ketchup packets, it’s very easy to forget one in a flight suit pocket.
You know, that little bicep pocket where you stash the neural-connection ear buds?
On top of that, we’d been celebrating Zenibrian New Year—which is a pretty big deal…

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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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Long Jump

Time has no meaning out here, but according to our shipboard computer, it is two minutes before noon. In a few seconds, my co-pilot and I will be the first humans to travel through a wormhole—a black hole, which is kept from collapsing by the greatest feat of engineering the universe has yet witnessed.

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The Black Blizzard

“I’ve got a good feeling about you, Planet 77.”
My heart thundered with the anticipation of facing the water-hungry nightmare that had buried our planet. Our ship slowed as we breached the skies of Earth.
“Don’t forget the cloaking device.” Jones reached over my shoulder and flipped a toggle. “I’d rather not be deified this time.”

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Afterlife

“I got nothing.”
My grin was snarky because I meant that both ways: what you say when you have absolutely nothing to add to a conversation. And literally. Because I had no re-memory.
My Eternal Counselor, Mirah, looked distressed. “Please, Ms. Iandolo…”
“Ronni,” I corrected. “Since we’ll be here a while, might as well be

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In the First Place

“Your testimony is unfinished, Ensign Duffy. Sit.”
Duffy’s knees, already wobbly from stress, buckled, dumping him back down in the witness chair. He faced the unblinking Commodore Brice and her investigative panel.
This isn’t a trial. They promised me I wouldn’t be on trial. Which was true. Besides, I haven’t done anything wrong.

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Secret Mission to Decimus

“Approaching coordinate J-14. Instability detected. Awaiting your instruction, Clawson.”
Safe in the Pangaea lander, Commander Rex Clawson monitored ANNIE’s progress across the desolate rocky landscape of planetoid Decimus. The drone feed indicated ANNIE stood at the precipice of a yawning gorge. Coordinate J-14 lay 9.5 meters ahead horizontally but 135.6 meters straight down.

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The Iggle

“We’ll be late, Harold!” Beatrice scolded as Harold zipped toward the nearby star. “I told you we needed to leave early!”
“We would’ve been fine if it weren’t for that construction on the Tarangian Way!” Harold snapped back, purple facial tentacles writhing angrily. “Who reduces an intergalactic byway to one lane? Traffic was stopped completely!”

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A Peace of the Stars

July 4th, 2050
I didn’t think my husband and I would qualify for the program. Things don’t usually go our way, especially since Gavin’s release from active duty and the months of trauma that followed. He sits next to me, his fingers playing with his ID badge. The word ARMY is emblazoned across it.

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