Tag Archives: dystopia

Fiction: Relic

“Behold, the symbol of our faith and the focus of our works.”

The priest opened the small, sturdy wooden box. The interior was lined with bubble wrap, and the relic lay on a thick velvet cloth. The relic gleamed as the priest held it up in the fading light of the sunset. The members of the small congregation stared at the relic, their eyes filled with longing.

“Be of strong faith and good cheer,” the priest intoned, “in the certain hope that our efforts will bring about the Second Coming of the Power that will light our way once more.”

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Fiction: Neighborhood Picnic

Sergeant Luckenstiehl wandered around the park, smiling at the children at play, nodding to their parents who were grilling hamburgers and brats and hot dogs – and the occasional steak – and setting the picnic tables. He would soon have to politely decline offers of food. “Regulations,” he would say with genuine regret; these people really knew how to barbecue.

He looked up; there were still a couple of hours before the sun would set behind the 25-story housing complex. The park was in the building’s hollow quadrangle, and Luckenstiehl respected how nicely the residents kept it.

A child ran up to her mother. “Mom! We can’t find Prissy and Janet anywhere!”

Luckenstiehl casually made a quarter turn away from the conversation.

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Fiction: Birth Order

“Kristen’s escaped.”

Sub-Proctor Anne’s mouth was tight, as though she were braced for me to gloat.

“Oh,” was my entire contribution to the conversation; it was the most Christian thing I could think of to say.

“I thought you would want to know,” Sub-Proctor Anne said, still guarded. I nodded politely at her, and she moved on to resume her work.

I wasn’t surprised. How many times had I warned everyone that Kristen would remain here only as long as she wanted to? The church’s Joliet Maximum Assistance Rescue Ark hadn’t held her during a previous pregnancy. She slipped past the dogs and the guard towers and the electrified fence as though they didn’t exist. So what chance, I asked, did the minimum assistance-level St. Reagan’s Birth Assurance Home have? An electronic gate and a simple nine-foot chain-link fence with a thin strand of razor wire on top meant nothing to someone like Kristen.

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Fiction: Security Breach

Arvid8 sat in the security room watching the monitors. The half-starved population outside the gates knew about Lord Grazorius’s food storehouse; Arvid8 looked for criminals who had slipped past the guards. Peasants could be tricky.

He was also vigilant for smaller intruders. Mice still plagued humanity in the late 22nd century. There hadn’t been any trouble since the Great Raid when more than ninety mice made off with an astonishing amount of food. Lord Grazorius had been furious, and security had installed hundreds of additional traps.

Arvid8 heard a motion alarm. He switched the view to the holographic tank, recreating the scene life size in his office.

A single mouse crept toward a box of food. The trap sitting by the box caught the mouse’s attention. As it should, Arvid8 thought as he magnified the view.

The trap’s enclosure was almost invisible. The mouse walked straight in and a little door folded down, sealing the opening. The mouse walked onto the platform and grabbed the bait. As the trigger tripped, the powerful spring propelled the titanium hammer onto the mouse’s back.

The hammer bent around the rodent.

Arvid8 gasped as he watched the unharmed mouse eat its prize. Then it backed out from under the hammer and one back leg kicked the trap’s door open. The mouse skittered out and looked directly into the hidden camera, making Arvid8 feel uneasy.

The mouse leaped to the box of foodstuffs, and its powerful jaws made short work of one corner of the steel box. Arvid8 dispatched a hunter-killer robot, but the mouse fled with its loot.

Arvid8 cleared the holoimage and turned to his hardwired communicator.

“Security Control, this is Security 2, Arvid8.”

“Go ahead, Security 2.”

“I need a probe team in here, armed and with extra robots for perimeter security. And tell Lord Grazorius the mice have evolved again.”