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kyle90

Joined July 2010.

66 stories, 0 challenges, 9 comments, and 18 friends

Stories

  1. A Bit Too Close To Heaven

    “No no no no NO!” I screamed, plunging my hand into the mass of cabling; the smell of frying electronics now overpowering the lingering scent of the shaped charge that had severed the control linkages. The terrorist was duct-taped to a seat...

  2. Nightmare Reality

    A light flickered briefly in the dark, illuminating nothing. Over an unbroken line of distant buildings, all empty, seething storm clouds advanced. Walls turned to dust and were whipped away by the wind, yet the air was still. I could hear nothing, but...

  3. That "Eureka" Moment

    “So a SETI researcher, a cephalopod biologist, and an A.I. developer walk into a bar…” quipped Mike, the A.I. guy. “Haha. Another round? I asked. Since finishing school, pub night had been a weekly tradition for the three of us....

  4. Changing Your Mind Through Science

    “As you can see, by modulating the fMRI frequency we can use it as a carrier wave for targeted transcranial magnetic stimulation. Then we filter it from the tomographic reconstruction and we can activate almost any part of the brain we want, with...

  5. Big Bada Boom

    The Mark V “Morningstar” grenade was a softball-sized sphere with odd spikes coming out of it. The prototype sat in a sealed room behind a thick piece of lead glass. “It actually doesn’t give off that much radiation. The only ac...

  6. Hostile Environments

    Our high polar orbit took us over Antarctica, once every few hours. Well into the Southern autumn, most of the continent was shrouded in blackness, lit only by the occasional lightning strike. We could just see the edge of a massive cyclonic storm over...

  7. Ghost City

    The whole street was dark and seemingly empty. Though Ray had a generator in the basement to supplement the increasingly unreliable grid, he didn’t dare turn on any lights at night. A lit window would be a beacon for looters. He peeked out throug...

  8. Alien Contact Again

    Though the two alien scientists didn’t look particularly human, and though their spoken conversation was outside of my hearing range, I could tell they were arguing over something. Finally one of them took the modified laptop and started typing. ...

  9. Nighttime Drive

    The highway cut straight through the hilly landscape, stretching out to the horizon. Though it wasn’t yet very late — the asphalt was still cooling after a day of summer sun — the eastbound lane was almost clear of traffic. I accelerated up t...

  10. Bugs

    I woke up in a concrete room, cuffed to a chair which was bolted to the floor. A man in a black suit sat across from me, with a small metal table between us. My mouth was dry and everything ached. “Rise and shine, asshole.” “What̷...

  11. Cooties

    The bio-scanner company sales rep came around again. Having nothing better to do, I let him give me his pitch. He likely never suspected that I had a degree in microbiology, and he was definitely sweating a bit. “So people get sprayed with these ...

  12. A Long Way From Home

    A stylized holographic projection of the solar system, complete with oversized planets, floated in the center of the navigation room of the V.S.S. Legacy. A convoluted colour-coded surface denoted the gravity wells around various objects and the requir...

  13. No Second Date

    Angela sat down alone at a table in a trendy downtown restaurant. It was 7:31, meaning her date was already late. It was not the optimal start to the night, but at least the place seemed nice. The restaurant itself was of the “old industrial buil...

  14. Automated Systems

    Inside a cabin at the edge of a pond, a microcontroller powered by a solid-state ultracapacitor charged by a roof-mounted solar panel registered a drop in temperature. A solenoid valve opened, allowing methane from a collection system at the bottom of ...

  15. Bending Light

    “So you’ve finally done it, eh? What’s the wavelength range?” “About 350 on the short end to just under 1000. We couldn’t get anything smaller without moving to nanofabrication.” “And above 1000?” &...

  16. Density

    The tiny engine strained to accelerate up a hill as we sped out of the city. Three guys, plus our recently-acquired cargo; close to 500 kilos in total. “Nothing yet,” said Jeff, listening to a police scanner in the passenger seat. Still, I ...

  17. Off This Rock

    A hundred meters from a busy intersection, the bus depot managed to find its own little piece of gloom in the shadow of an aging office building. The uncovered I-beams and overhead skylights, so trendy when the station was new, were rusting or covered ...

  18. Materials Science 101

    I barely got my sword up in time to meet the Japanese blade that sliced the air on an arcing path towards me. I had no trouble believing that my opponent’s katana would continue along its trajectory, barely noticing the resistance of my body desp...

  19. Returning On My Own Terms

    “I think we should spend some time apart,” she says. Like a kick in the stomach. My last tie to this place, severed. I sit in a tiny house on the edge of an ocean that I crossed to be with her. My web history fills with searches for design ...

  20. No Inventing Allowed

    I’m the blacksmith here in the village. It’s a good trade, and I enjoy it. I make horseshoes, cookware, nails, iron tools; whatever we need. I keep my shop clean and my forge hot. One day I had an idea. I was educated enough to know how ste...

  21. Flynn Effect 2.0

    “Hey, do you still have those prototypes of the DNA tests that your company was working on?” Such an innocent beginning. He replied with a manila envelope filled with gridded paper sheets. A drop of blood in each square would turn blue or b...

  22. The Chaotic Toolbox

    “Real ‘magic’ was never a thing, of course —” “But magic mushrooms were, and they can make people see lots of crazy stuff!” “Very amusing. But you have a point; a lot of it was herbalism. Plenty of medicinal ...

  23. Government Intervention

    It started innocently enough: A by-law adding a 5-cent fee to the purchase of plastic bags, to discourage excessive production of garbage. After a mild success in the first year, city council voted to increase it to 10 cents. But it wasn’t until ...

  24. What Happens When The Winds Change

    The two travelers pulled their cloaks tighter, protection from the blowing sand. The sun had risen an hour ago and the winds were picking up, whipping the granules into tiny stinging projectiles. “We’ve got to find some shelter soon! Jesus ...

  25. Blue Collar 1968

    Jim liked to think of himself as a simple man. A skilled machinist, to be sure — that had landed him this job — but not complicated. His family’s modest suburban house didn’t even have a television. He couldn’t see the point of ha...

  26. Dreaming of You

    11:08 PM, Philosophy Department lounge. As seems to happen more often than not, someone has mentioned religion and everyone has picked a side. The fridge quietly humming in the corner contains a case of beer, of which more than half is now gone. This h...

  27. Advanced Computing, Soviet Style

    “One of the Setun series?” the voice on the laptop inquired. “We think so. But it looks military and it was built in ’78.” The researcher turned the laptop to face a collection of large grey boxes, most still plastic-wrapp...

  28. Earth-Made™, 100% Authentic

    “They’ve ordered… forklifts? I’m almost afraid to ask how many they want.” Since the aliens had made contact, fourteen months earlier, Earth’s economy had been turned upside-down. Suddenly we could export to a market...

  29. The Real World Is A Steampunk Fantasy

    “So when your explorers landed on the West coast of Africa in 1850, the local tribe presented them with the… magic rocks?” “Rocks that stay warm without fire or sunlight, yes.” Burton unrolled a hand-drawn map. “They...

  30. Natural Selection

    Consider the abilities of the deities of myth and legend: Raining fire from the sky to reduce cities to ash, calling forth thunder and lightning, creating life. All these things are now in our grasp. What, then, are gods? What, then, are we? I write th...