Copyright © by Jason H. Abbott, All Rights Reserved.
“This dystopian city is a fortress,” Sister Atoz says. “You really think we can escape it?” Brother Criterion offers a gun. “Stone walls do not a prison make, nor iron bars a cage.” “Should I call you Lovelace?” the librarian asks. “No,” he smiles. “Call me Snake.” Beth reached the motionless spacer in the void. Grabbing the EVA suit’s arm, she felt nothing inside. “Damn, empty.” Its head nodded. After almost screaming, she peered into the helmet. A cat floated within. She looked to the shipwreck. “Someone saved, a cat?” “Zeus is powering up!” the helmsman warns. A hundred kilometers of magnetic accelerators prepare to launch an asteroid into hypervelocity, and moon base Sierra. “Our team controls the last magnetic ring?” “Yes, Captain!” “Reverse its polarity. Spike the gun!” Colonists awoke from a 3000-year slumber and found man-sized tardigrades maintaining their complex ship. The peaceful species explained they were the genetically modified descendants of crew awakened early: Shepherds of a crippled ship damaged a millennia ago. I know a ragged magician-comedian that will change your mind. Not hypnosis chicanery and chicken clucking. They’re a stealthy artisan telepath, reshaping your thoughts and dreams with a glare. Their name? I, can’t put a finger on it… how’d I forget? “For the good of all, we must work together.” He hesitated at her pale, offered hand. “I understand a druid finding me abhorrent,” she said. “Necromancers have done many evils. But if you can trust me, I’ll show you I only empower and protect the dead.” I yearned to be loved. When I found the Jinn, I wished her into my lover. Her subverted will filled me with guilt. I reversed my first wish with a second minutes later, and my last wish freed her of the lamp. “I can love a kind man,” she said, staying.