When the package arrived, #Gully could hardly believe his own eyes. He’d spent nearly twenty years and more hours than he could count looking for what the shipping label promised would be inside. The effort he had put into writing search #algorithms and conversational chatbots designed to enter online forums and converse with the right people, to track down the best clues, to hunt through a seemingly endless trail of dead ends. All of it, every second of effort, leading to just this: an inconspicuous #package set into his hands by a post carrier. He signed the screen and shooed the #courier away as he ducked back into his apartment to pry open the #box. The packing tape peeled away with a shlu-shk! and the crackle of the cardboard as he wedged the edges of the flaps inward to reach for the contents broke the nervous quiet of the small, dark room. When his hand emerged from the box it was clutching a small dark brown orb roughly the size of a walnut and textured nearly the same, as if a tiny hazel-hued #brain had been shrunk and dried and mailed to his home. It was in fact a #seed. And Gully had found one, rare as they were, a seed for an impossible #plant that most thought was only fictional, the work of special effects on a campy collection of films and theatre sets. But it was real. It was a seed that would change his destiny and maybe that of the whole world.
[ 257 words | 2022-12-07 ]
Captain Tom #Duster took the spyglass from his eye and waited a pair of heartbeats before turning to face the crew. “She’s a runaway, fer shore, innit she?” Lascoe, his first mate asked under his breath. “She seems to be.” Duster replied. “The #Horntail is more than worthy to catch her, but her course is straying too and fro with a heading for deep water. I’m afeared she’ll rip herself to timbers before we can split the difference.” Lascoe furrowed his brow for only a moment before turning to shout out at the bustling pirate crew. “Full sail, ye dogs!” He barked the order and naught a man but looked up and instead made for the ropes to unfurl the last of the bunched linens to the wind. “We’re on’er, Cap’in.” He said over his shoulder confidently. “And Miss Couper, she’ll be back a’bard in not a wink, sir.” Duster simply nodded and brought the glass back to his eye once more.
[ 190 words | 2022-12-06 ]
Adventure! Watch as Captain Rolf #Fable once again breaks the gravity of Earth to set off on yet another daring adventure to explore the solar system. Be amazed as Fable's sleek star cruiser the #SolarSketcher zooms through the ether of space and out into the unknown depths of the universe. Adventure! On his latest and perhaps greatest journey, Rolf Fable sets down on the watery surface of the planet #Aquaria. This ocean world was once hidden behind the shadowy comet cluster but has now been revealed thanks to the bravery of Captain Fable. Adventure! What will Fable find when he dives into the ocean depths of Aquaria? What amazing discovery will he uncover below it's waves? Adventure! Will the Aquarians welcome him or will the brave Fable be forced to fight and escape from their clutches. Or will he find love in the arms of the Aquarian Princess? Find out in the next installment of Captain Fable in the Thirty Third Century! Adventure!
[ 165 words | 2022-12-05 ]
It was almost certainly a #Gen6 that had cut the power in the facility and left them to cower in the #darkness with nothing but the flicker of distant emergency lighting and the dying beams of the remaining flashlights. The fives had been clever enough, and had replicated the code to access the internal building systems that the fours had perfected, but the sixes had become — how had #Sullivan put it? — “crazy” he had called it. Crazy robots, created by intelligent robots, created by clever robots, all the way down through now six generations past the initial experimental #neuralnets. Six generations and half as many days and here they were, just two of the team left, cowering in a supply closet with the door barricaded and food supplies running low. What would they do if Gen7 or Gen8 was smart enough to figure out there was a world outside the lab? Or would they even be left alive to care? A rumble just past the door shook her out of her reverie, and another rattled the hinges of the closet door. She was almost certain she would never know.
[ 193 words | 2022-12-04 ]
As the #stasis field collapsed from around him, #Jevin could feel his awareness slam back into his head. Someone had suggested that spending three centuries disconnected from the passage of time would be a lot like going to sleep and then gentle waking up a hundred light years and three hundred years from where he started. It wasn’t. It was more like being dunked into an ice bath and shocked awake. None of that mattered, however, because the display floating in the chamber in front of him confirmed all was well and he was exactly where he needed to be. Ten lifetimes ago someone had sent a #message hurtling through space towards Earth. His grandfather had captured it. His father had decoded it and replied to it. And he would answer it. In person.
[ 136 words | 2022-12-03 ]
Mom didn't like it when much at all when #Billy wandered. She called it wandering. He called it exploring. And he had to explore because the backyard was too small for a proper adventure and the woods at the end of their street were much bigger and better for that sort of thing. Mom didn't like it, but he'd be back before she was done with her meeting when she finally bothered looking up from her computer and out into the backyard. He had lots of time. So down the street he went and as though he had visited there a hundred times -- which he had, of course -- found the little dirt path that led into the dense bushes around the base of the towering trees. Into the wood he went without a care or a thought. Adventurers didn't worry about what their mothers thought. Billy liked dodging along the various animal trails cut through the thickets and it seemed like every time he visited the wood he found a new and unexpected path, often leading to a burrow or an interesting log or a water-logged patch in the forest full of bugs and frogs and mud. Today he chose his paths carefully, exploring, looking for some turn or chase he hadn't yet discovered. So he was surprised, as any nine year old boy would be, when he found something he absolutely did not expect to see in the middle of a neighbourhood #wood. He had not been walking carelessly along the #path, no, of course he knew better. Yet, even this caught him off his guard and he froze for what seemed a whole minute, eyes passing over the shapes and colours of his find. He had no words to describe it, and out of breath as he was having run as hard as he could back home he couldn't have got it past his lips if he did. He slammed the door behind him as he ran into the house and up the stairs to his bedroom. He barely noticed his mom shouting over he muted video meeting to keep down the noise. He barely noticed anything at all as he buried his face into his pillow and began to cry.
[ 381 words | 2022-12-02 ]
The mystery of it had called her to the alien waters. Three years of graduate studies to be completed aboard The #Seraph orbiting #Jupiter with twice monthly expeditions to skim through the thin atmosphere clinging to the moon of #Europa and conduct research on her cold, watery surface. The romance of finding not only an entire evolutionary tree of life there, but one with which they could communicate, the romance of that made it so much more than school. Of course, bestowing the title of life upon a silicate-based species that for all indications more closely resembled humanity's computers or #robots was a stretch for her carbon-based analog-thinking biases. But by all indications it had evolved that way, as self-replicating computational units akin to cells that fed upon the electromagnetic charge of the moon itself and bathed in its saline seas. Three years of graduate studies had become an opportunity to change the very understanding of life itself and the Europan skimming expeditions had turned into envoys of communication, then diplomatic outreach, and ultimately expeditions of cultural exchange. That she fell in love with a Europan resident in the process was mere accident.
[ 194 words | 2022-12-01 ]
#Damarketh knew all too well that the Council of Sooths would not look kindly upon his search, nor would they easily welcome him back if his efforts were discovered. That is why stealth was not only important but in fact vital for tonight's deeds. The Council had eyes everywhere, spies everywhere, and he should know having recruited many of them. The wet stone of dark alleys glinted with moonlight and shadows seemingly tracked him from street to corner and back down yet another alley. She was not hiding from him, but the effect of her needed discretion was the same. He would need to be alert for signs of the clues that had brought him this far. He would need to keep keen his senses, of course, and yet always at least one string of his heart on the pulse of #perfective energies that guided him where sights and sounds could not. She may be hiding, but through those energies she would be calling out to him, leading him towards her. And she was close. So close. "Damarketh." called a harmony of voices from the street behind him, and for a moment he thought that somewhere in that chorus was her. He froze in his tracks and took one more breath before turning on his heel to face who had reached out with the perfective call, that multitude of simultaneous speakers projected into his head so that the eerie quiet of the streets was yet broken by more than footsteps. "I am." He replied in the usual fashion. The search would need to wait for another night.
[ 272 words | 2022-11-29 ]
Knowing how to pick good art from the crummy stuff, that there is the real talent. Folks think they know what they like yet out there in the real world nothing is so simple. A bit of paint on a canvas here or an ink line across a page there, it’s all the same to me, shapes and forms, data too, but seeing the art from the arts and crafts is what I do best. When I give the nod to a particularly painted scene or a meticulously designed sketch it’s more than mere calculation, my reputation seeps into the equation, too. I weigh every variable. I measure and map every perspective against algorithms that trace through an immeasurable and exponentially expanding universe of systematic analysis to judge and determine the exact dimensions of my valuation. I am so much more than a database and my neural network goes far beyond a mere computational engine. Art is my very soul and my soul is art articulated upon silicon and quantum electromagnetic pulses. Folks think they know but how could they possibly compare to me. I know good art, and anyone who disagrees is simply wrong.
[ 199 words | 2022-11-28 ]
He couldn't help but that his feet caught on many of the roots of any of the thousands of trees in the wood through which his path traced. It was difficult for him to focus on both the pain throbbing in his shoulder and also on his own footsteps. The wind had swelled up of a sudden, again, and the gaze of his eyes shot upward into the overhanging boughs as they shuddered in the gusts. #Gaige knew it unlikely that a second branch would crack and tumble, that a second shard of wood would pierce through his bare skin, stab and nearly kill him as he ran, now walked, through his favourite trails. Yet unlikely was not impossible. His foot caught on another tree root and he stumbled again, letting loose the grip he held on his bleeding bicep. Maybe he would reevaluate his love of these trails. Maybe. He paused in his march back towards civilization to check the gash on his arm and to adjust his grip once more over the worst of the wound. Nature was not malicious nor evil, it just was, but today it had taken a shot at Gaige and he wouldn't soon forget it. He kicked at a particularly gnarled root stretching across the path, and walked on.
[ 218 words | 2022-11-28 ]
Daily story prompt for 5th of February 2023:
Write a suspense story about a robot that has built an invisible lover.
nvl-grm