“Houston, our monopropellant injector is leaking; the fire’s now breached the hull. We have a matter of minutes before complete mechanical failure.”
“Gemini, mission control is going to go ahead and recommend an emergency landing.”
“Houston, it sounded like you suggested we attempt a crash landing onto a moving commercial spacecraft. Please confirm.”
“Gemini, this is a passenger cruise liner, which is an incredibly reliable mode of upmarket transport. We can’t think of a safer place for you to be should anything go wrong during touchdown…”
“Roger, Houston. Bracing for impact...”
“Stool transplants?” I asked my agent. “Please say you’re joking.”
Angela shook her head. “I swear I’m not making this up. When researchers transferred the stools of outgoing mice into anxious mice, the recipients became more outgoing. And when they gave people fecal transplants for digestive disorders, they found the same thing—recipients take on characteristics of their donors. Point being: the microbes in our guts exert significant influence over our personalities.
"It seems that you are largely what’s in your gut. And if you really want to be a star, you need to have star stuff inside you.”
The job market was so dried up, you could only hope and pray for some shitty, part-time shiftwork underneath some dilapidated footbridge. The days of getting a comfy, monster-under-the-bed type job were long gone. Holding out for your own closet to scare out of? Hah! What are you smoking?
The market bubble had gone bust, and every night, the streets in my neighbourhood were getting worse; monsters were slinking in every shadowy alleyway, cracked out and strung out and begging for your last dime.
"I've always said you were an original thinker, Alika, but the incarceration of a criminal AI in a coffee vending machine is a most curious idea."
Alika frowned. "He's not a criminal AI. It is true that some of his ideas, were he to carry them out unbidden, would be against the law. It is his insensitivity that I have an issue with, Chiku. But … he may still be useful to us."
"So is this a slap on his proverbial wrist? Or simply a reminder of our biological superiority?"
As Bert Jackson stormed the beach he couldn’t get the thought of his mother’s kitchen windows out of his head. The windows were so real that it was as if they were directly in front of him. They had blue wooden trim and the latch on the inside that had been turned to the left before mom had gone to bed. Behind the windows the tips of the spider and parsley plants spread above the kitchen sink. The stone wall around the windows was well-worn, in some places covered with small white circles, marking where he and his brother, Maurice, had pelted it with their baseball. The windows glimmered in the sunlight; his mother was behind the glare, calling them into lunch. A lunch of ham and cheese sandwiches and chicken broth. Maybe an apple or, if they were lucky, chocolate pudding.