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Post-Scarcity Mystery

This story started after a binge-listen of Isaac Arthur’s Science & Futurism videos. With Post-Scar City, it’s one of those I-might-continue sorts of things.

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The coffee shop was Teri’s favorite part of the arcology, and that was saying something. 

It had a prime location, by some ways of looking at things – it overlooked one of the farm quadrants, so it had sunlight for most of the day through its broad windows.  Looking that way, you could almost forget you were hundreds of feet above ground. You could almost forget that out the front door was a hallway and a slidewalk that would take you where you wanted to go, instead of a road. 

That wasn’t really why Teri liked it, nor that the barista who worked there most weekdays had stunningly blue eyes and a generous smile, nor the adorable foam art that always seemed inspired by something “outside” in the fields. 

There was this corner table that looked out over the field but was half-hidden by the cream-and-sugar station, and, sitting there, Teri could decide how much people was a good amount for the day.  And, sitting there, tablet and stylus and coffee and scone, Teri could spend hours floating, drawing whatever came to mind, and go back to Residential Ring Three with something done that sparked that amazing feeling of I did something good today

The bright smile and the way the blue-eyed barista would sometimes wink helped, too.  Continue reading

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Post-Scar City – a beginning

So: I had something on my fiction list titled post-scarcity, and LilFluff, in his… Fluffiness, called for Post-Scar City. 

Technically, it’s a Post-Scar University, with some influence from The 100 and AM Harte’s Above Ground.

This is an introductory chapter.  Don’t know what I’ll do with it after this, but it does seem to, well, introduce things.

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Adeline pressed up close to the screen that showed their descent, wedging between two taller people that she didn’t know while still trying not to lose her hold on Geordi’s hand.  “It looks… green.  Really green.”

“I’ve never seen so much green,” one of the tall people agreed.  She peeked up, but she didn’t recognize their faces, either.  They were tall, and blue-eyed, with dark hair, and both of them looked the same.  They must have either come from one of the other Habitats, or from the other side of Lazarus Habitat. “It doesn’t —  It can’t– where are the scars?”

“There ought to be scars.”  Geordi’s right hand moved in the signs he used to talk most of the time.  “There ought to be — black, grey.”

She twitched her free hand in the same method.  “It looks like a hydro suite.  Or the sort of things that they show on vids of Before Times.”

Geordi had implants, had since he was ten, but they’d met in the creche, and when it came down to it, he’d always be more comfortable with sign than with spoken language. Continue reading

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The Tuesday House

The house was only there sometimes.

Pau had first noticed it on a hunting run on a rainy day and had, when the rain became too intense, hidden under its very broad overhangs.

The next time up the mountain, Pau tried to find the house — but nothing was there.

Pau didn’t go up the mountain every day, only when food was needed and the weather was supposed to be good (or when food was really needed and the weather wasn’t supposed to be horrible ), and not on any particular schedule, since sometimes the hunting came down the mountain on its own and sometimes a trader passed through their little settlement and then they had things like cheese and sausage and, sometimes, spices. Continue reading

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Putting Out Fires (and Lighting Others)

This one is just sort of silly.  Maybe an intro to something?

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Perfect is the enemy of Good

That’s engraved on the lintel of our headquarters.

Well, it would be, but what’s really there is Firehouse 14.

It’s a good building, and the fire company has since moved somewhere else, bigger place, I think, more poles.

We moved in the way we do most things – quickly, efficiently, with a minimum of excess energy.

Which means, of course (of course) that I’m sleeping in an old firemen’s dormitory and so are the other seven of us.

We put out fires, after all.  Sort of. Sometimes we light them.

We’re the Cleaning Team, which is kind of a funny name for us, but it’s what we came up with while drinking vodka one night.  We get things done.

We don’t get them done cheaply.  We don’t get them done elegantly.  We get them done on time and well. (You know: on time, in budget, in scope, pick two.)

And we get them done – if not cleanly, then “cleanly.”

That is.  If it is illegal or questionably moral, It will never come back to us.  It will never come back to you.

If it is shining and bright and just needs to be done quickly, you will get all the lauds and we will be invisible.

Just don’t ask questions.

That, we actually have a sign for, on the front desk, next to the “Quick And Dirty, Done” sign that our secretary came up with.

(We do actually have a “don’t kill the client” clause in our (unwritten) contracts, but that one has its own escape clause (Our contracts are the one thing we didn’t do quick nor dirty).)

Perfect is the enemy of Good.

And let me tell you, you want it done, we can get it done Quick and really, really Good.

 


Written to May 16th’s Thimbleful Thursday Prompt.

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Thimbleful Thursday: Here and There

“But who are you?” The woman at the gate was staring at the interloper. “What is your name and what are you doing here?”

“What I am doing here, I have already told you.” The woman popped up her umbrella as an unseasonable and unexpected rain began. “I am here to speak to Madam Thare Oliphant.”

“The current mistress of the house is not Thare Oliphant, and hasn’t been in two hundred and seventy-two years.”

“You’re remarkably well-informed for a gate guard.” Continue reading

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Thimbleful Thursday: Envelope

“What…. what is it?”

Esuyp had been locked up in the old building for months on end, emerging only to do her required part of the settlement’s labor and fix the things that needed fixing, sometimes to eat and even more rarely to sleep.  Qiameth had been running back and forth between Esuyp’s workshop — so they all assumed it was — and the old school buildings, muttering to herself.

Now the thing — the result of every minute of leisure time for two people for over half a year in a settlement where everyone was working steadily — was out in the middle of the Green and the whole settlement was staring at it.

“What is it?” repeated the Eldest.   Continue reading

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Reformed?

Okay, this was supposed to be short.  It is not short.  It is a riff off of a comment from a request for dark fic prompts from like 2 months ago. 

It took a while.

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Damon Rudd had not meant to reform. He had been living a perfectly happy life destroying anything at that pissed him off, thwarting people who got his way (heroes with overdeveloped moral senses usually, Golden Hawk and Wise Ibis and the like), being amazingly rich and getting richer, and more or less doing whatever he wanted to do. This had been working fine, until, walking behind one of his businesses, he found a woman and two children digging for food in his dumpster.  This, Damon found, pissed him off.  But because he was not an idiot, he was able to see that what pissed him off was not the woman.  Continue reading

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Been to Middle Earth; Do you speak my language?

Okay, this is entirely because DaHob sent me the link to Talk Nerdy to Me

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When Nat first saw the ads shouting  “win a trip to Middle Earth,” she assumed it was just another studio amusement park, like “spend a weekend in the Wizarding World” or “Cruise on the Black Pearl.”

It wasn’t until she was lured by a clickbait article that she caught a clue as to what was really going on.

“Portal trips to other universes: are they as safe as they seem?”

It turned out that the answer was a firm no, something hammered home as Nat’s native guide physically moved her out of the way of a swinging mace and dropped her onto the back of a sturdy pony.  “Tourist gold, they said,” he muttered.  “Bringing fresh eyes and fresh treasure to Middle Earth!  Nobody said they’d be idiots without the sense to come in out of the rain!”

“Hey!”  She shifted on the pony and let it carry her away from the orcs.  “Let’s see you come to my world and see how you do in a strange place with strange dangers, hunh, Gladrin son of Gladuil?”

“Maybe I will, maybe I will,” he retorted.

“Good!  I look forward to it!”

Then, because she didn’t want to be the reason that the Ugly American trope was carried to another universe, she added, much more politely, “thank you for saving me.  Do you think, for the rest of this trip, you could perhaps show me the things that you like the best about your land?”

She thought from the expression – the beard made it hard to tell – that she’d surprised Gladrin.

“That I will, little human,” he consented.  “That I will.  And perhaps we can return you to your land intact, mmm?”

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