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To Catch a Unicorn

  To Catch a Unicorn By Harriet Darling Elle McRane was a 16-year-old girl who lived on Utope, a world a good number of light years away from Earth. A typical teen, Elle wore her strawberry blond hair in a long curly ponytail. Her brown eyes usually snapped when she wasn’t treated as she thought she should be, but they could twinkle when she was pleased. Elle lived in a medium-sized home in a good neighborhood, but her bedroom was very much like one you might find in a castle. Ever since she was three, Elle had behaved as...

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Steps Saga Part 4 – In the Presence of Enemies

  Steps Saga Part 4 – In the Presence of Enemies By Thomas J. Lauser   Following the publication of “Interview with an Abolitionist,” nobles throughout the Claudian Empire’s twenty three provinces released their slaves. Swayed by the image of Alistair Blackwood bloodied and wounded, but still advocating for his cause, abolition grew from a small shower to a raging storm that would soon envelope the entire empire. Professors at the Mage Academies, many of whom had been against slavery already, led demonstrations in the streets of Minthera, Reman, and Ludwig. Mage-Students returned home for holidays preaching abolition, infuriating...

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Replay Value

Replay Value by Damien Krsteski   The Designer, 1   He paused the recording, and the leeches attached to the game’s server ceased throbbing, fell off. Every movement and action, no matter how minute, of the past year of each player of the game, he held in a file on his computer, and he watched as that full year’s worth of data replicated itself to redundancy and scattered across his memory sticks, self-encrypting with each step. Fingers stilled above the keyword, waiting for a shiver of excitement to pass, then he set to work, extracting actions into re-runnable modules,...

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Psycholizards

  Psycholizards By R.R. Brooks On Christmas she gave frankincense, myrrh, and best of all, lead. Dad would be happy I have a job. Not a great one—hell, here I am picking up rocks and hauling them back to the dome.  We’re looking for metal ore on Kimballo, a Goldilocks planet with two suns.  But I’ve got another angle: to find Dad’s creature. Getting this job was no sweat. I’m in my twenties, plenty fit, and have creds—electrical engineering know-how and computer expertise.  Dropping out of school was a mistake.  Not only did I get crap from Dad—may he...

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A Fair Bet

  A Fair Bet Historical Fiction By Harold R. Thompson   The latest bet was whether Ensign Aldridge, No. 4 Company Royal Hampshire Fusiliers, could strike three targets in a row with his Colt revolver at fifteen paces. Lieutenant Henry, also of No. 4 Company, accepted. The stakes were a bottle of champagne, which could be purchased in the adjacent French camp. “Three targets in three shots?” Henry said. “Three targets, three shots!” Aldridge agreed. “What if a cap misfires?” The Colt percussion caps were notorious for failing. “A misfire is a miss,” Aldridge said. “Three targets, three shots.”...

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