A brilliant, but undervalued programmer working on tinder bots accidentally makes true AI.
Tinder bots. Fricking Tinder bots. It was so far beneath me . . . well, they’d understand soon. I would make the best damn Tinder bot the world had ever seen. Continue reading “T.A.L.I.A.”
You work at Magic Support. It’s like Tech support, but for magic.
Another crystal lit up red, as their counterparts would be doing on a dozen other desks. I watched it for a moment, hoping someone else would reach for it first, but after a moment it was stubbornly red. I reached out and picked up the crystal. It turned yellow for me – if someone else grabbed it now, it would still show red. This was my call, now. After a moment it turned green, and a voice rang out in my mind.
“Hello? Is this thing working? I’m trying to get a ‘cure disease’ spell to work, but it just gave me a headache.”
I sighed and covered my face. Another careless teenage mage, trying to resolve their teenage stupidity without their parents finding out. Continue reading “Mag Support”
Um, no. How about we don’t, and say we did…
Artwork by Tomislav Jagnjic (ArtStation)
I stared up at the living mountain before us. We rode atop a ridge, and we could look at the spiral emblem on its ‘face’ without craning our necks too far. When we got close, we’d have to climb its body just to attack the top of its toe.
“So . . . that’s the thing, huh?”
Jamon looked on with me, nodding once. “Yup.”
Continue reading “Retirement Plans”
You slay the princess you were trying to save. Instead of being angry, the king thanks you and awards you the dragon that was keeping her in the tower.
“I . . . I have questions.”
“Ask them, human.” I could tell he was trying to whisper. His voice was like the grinding of stone on stone, and I could feel the vibration of it in my bones.
“Okay, look. First, my name is Caliban. And to start . . . who was this witch, that she could fool an entire kingdom into revering her as their adored princess? And how did she put a dragon under her spell? Aren’t dragons supposed to resist magic? And what use was it for her to make the king think he had her as a daughter, and then be awarded like a piece of meat to some knight? And what hold does the king have over you that he can just give you to me?”
The dragon just stared at me balefully, his jaw muscle twitching.
“Do I have to order it? Can I order it? Answer me.”
The dragon winced at the order – it looked like he had to obey me, but he did not have to make it easy for me.
“In order. Her name was Alina. She possessed great artifacts that enhanced her strength, stolen from me. Normally, yes. The king loved his imaginary daughter too much to marry her off, but to inherit the throne she needed a husband that she could control, an idiot knight was ideal. The king . . . holds the eggs of my clutch, and I must obey him for my children’s sake. Yes. And yes. I will not repeat myself.
Continue reading “Dragonkin”
You run a night school for assassins. The other professional assassins loathe you for turning customers into self-sufficient killers. You would get frustrated by their constant attempts on your life, if they didn’t make for such good lessons for your students…
I strode across to the podium, before the diagram of the human skeleton and circulatory system. The class was small, ten people. I found it to be my optimum class size. Any more and my students began to look like a forest, not trees. Any less, and I might have trouble with my payments.
One tentative hand rose up. She was a slip of a girl. Her demeanor was timid, her hand trembling in the air. None of her classmates took her seriously. They were new, yet. Not all of them quite realized that I wasn’t here to teach them how to fight, but how to kill. Ellen’s ‘fragile flower’ act would serve her well.
Continue reading “Timid Reaper”
A housecat’s human learning to hunt, from the cat’s point of view.
“CAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!” My human whipped out a strange device before my shocked eyes, and slammed it down, piercing his prey’s tin hide. He closed the device – like teeth – and it began to chew.
“O! PEN! ER!”
With each syllable, he twisted the device, mauling his prey’s hide further, then he peeled back the tin skin. He hefted the can into the air and slammed it down over my food dish. He snapped his wrist back, leaving behind the prey’s flesh. He tipped his head back and screamed in victory.
Continue reading “Sensei”
The World is a peaceful place. Everyone is Happy. Nothing Bad is happening to anyone. Every person has everything they need. Everyone is well mannered, and Mean people do not exist.
I heard the scream and looked around. Nobody else seemed concerned. People walked up and down the street, nobody looking up. There it was again. “No! Stop! Get off me!”
It was coming from the alleyway. I rushed into the darkness, my eyes taking a moment to adjust after the bright sunlight. He was tall, muscular, and there was a tattoo of an eagle straddling a swastika on his bald scalp. In his free hand, he twirled a knife with a shocking degree of skill.
“Just relax, little peacock, it won’t hurt as–” I barrelled into him, hard. The knife skittered across the pavement, musical as different surfaces of it struck the pavement. Continue reading “Trauma Entertainment”