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Pablo Vilas

Joined January 2014 and calls Travels, tinkering and thoughts home.

163 stories, 2 challenges, 236 comments, and 5 friends

“Ascension” writer’s notes are here, http://ficlyascension.wordpress.com/ . Corrections and improvements, please!

Born 1948, married, two daughters. Living in Seattle, Washington state, USA. Retired from a career in IT. I enjoy wilderness sports, photography and writing.

Stories

  1. Rekill 4

    Edie’s screen door flaps behind us, a torn corner of screen bending to the breeze. We’ve beaten the lunch crowd, but not by much. A pimply busboy clears breakfast detritus. A pair of gray-hairs linger over coffee. Two short-skirted waitress...

  2. Ascension II: Express

    Red lights were flashing. “Security alert. Colonial police have been summoned,” chanted a mechanical voice. Bates drove the floor-scrubber at the platform; panicking commuters jumped aside or got buffed. A tram had just arrived; he drove th...

  3. Ascension II: Fare Game

    Bates walked around a man driving a floor-scrubber; the Authority believed in sanitation as a deterrent to crime. He stepped up to the turnstile. A pleasant chime sounded, followed by a woman’s voice; “Ten roubles, please.” “I j...

  4. Rekill 3

    “Deputy Miller,” The lab tech says, “Are you here for an appointment?” She unscrews the green cartridge from the needle in my arm and screws on a blue one. “No,” says the deputy, his eyes following her fingers. “I was behind this fellow o...

  5. Rekill 2

    Too tired to look up, I gaze at the pavement as I ride. Cracks and potholes are my main concern anyway. It’s a divided highway, and I can hear any vehicles behind me. So I notice the hastily stenciled red arrows on the street right away. They poi...

  6. Rekill 1

    My name is Andrew Pace. Please don’t shoot me; I’m alive, and I need your help. I work on this phrase as I pedal, steering just outside the crevice on the highway shoulder. Should I make it shorter, so people don’t shoot me before I can say it? O...

  7. Ascension II: Landing

    Juno rushed at him, expanding as his landing options shrank. Every vestige of civilization was already out of sight. Ishikawa tested the toggles that controlled the rear wings of his ram-air chute. He pivoted left and right, falling all the while. Thru...

  8. Ascension II: Handout

    Bates peered down the stairs as he approached the woman. Was the convict that wouldn’t kill him lurking down there? “Hey, sailor; you buying?” she coaxed. “That guy you just talked to; who is he?” “Who’re you?” she challenged. He glared...

  9. Ascension II: Hide and Seek (Mature)

  10. Ascension II: Tailspin

    Ishikawa curled into a ball in the nestlike pod. He felt the hatch close over him; latches slid into their channels as Reckall spun the locking wheel. He wondered what expression Reckall’s face held, now that he had total power over his erstwhile...

  11. Reverend Fludd Ruins the Cake

    Reverend Fludd dropped the teapot on the cake, living up to his name. “I’m dreadfully sorry,” he sputtered. Eustace bolted to his feet, upsetting his chair. The Captain and Lady Tor exchanged a look, and the Captain withdrew. “The damage is min...

  12. Ascension II: Into the Fire

    As he drove toward Juno Station, Pitcher reported in. He was in constant communication with what he euphemistically called his employer; “owner” would have been more accurate. His technology was tedious and slow. But it was undetectable, and imposs...

  13. Ascension II: Out of the Frying Pan

    The view from Shuttle 1 was dire. Shuttle 2’s re-entry trajectory was too steep; it was dropping fast into the tainted clouds of Juno. “What’s wrong with them?” wondered Gillian. “Aerodynamics,” Carmen said. “Look at the ailerons. They’...

  14. Ascension II: Two Madmen (Mature)

  15. Ascension II: Bed of Nails

    Landing the stolen shuttle at an airstrip would have meant the end of his escape. So Bates had to ditch in wilderness; but Juno’s terraforming was too unfinished for him to hide there. Anyway, a city’s criminal underground was his natural h...

  16. Mr. West Fears the Worst

    Mr. West gazed up the tunnel, long after Percy was lost to view. How well things had gone! Thanks to him, not only was Tor Manor free of its pesky spirit, but the Tors were liberated from its suffocating protection as well. There was no longer any need...

  17. Mr. West Explains All

    “Collaborator,” sneered Percy’s ghost. “What do you know of the tunnel and the light?” “A band of armed men demanded shelter in my house,” said Mr. West. Or did he only think it? Breathing was a nuisance, and a...

  18. Ascension II: Escape

    The black land-cruiser was midway between the leaning, corroded atomizer and the ranked mirrors of a hydroponics farm when a stub-winged shuttle screamed close overhead. The driver braked with a jerk, awakening Pitcher. They stared out the side-windows...

  19. Ascension II: Pumpkin Seed

    Holmes rejoiced when he saw Reckall’s request for orbital collection of the prisoner. He could demand a larger than usual bribe for the service. The prison guards he sent were less pleased. There was no sign of Bates. Nervously, they examined the...

  20. Ascension II: Gift

    In the end, Bates got what he wanted; a ride to Juno. But not the way he wanted it; he was carried in a spacesuit tied to the outside of Shuttle 2. “If he wants to escape,” said Lieutenant Reyes, “Let him.” “Suppose heR...

  21. Ascension II: Quaker Guns

    Ishikawa climbed out of the rover and entered the earthworks, followed by Reckall. “I appreciate your judging this contest. The men are proud of their creations, and you are the man they were designed for.” “I’ll need to refer t...

  22. Ascension II: Improv

    After Bates stashed the knife in his pants, he sat up casually. He found himself looking up Ishikawa’s pistol. “It’s rude to steal the cutlery,” said the rebel captain. He flung his plate, as Ishikawa fired. The shot went into t...

  23. Ascension II: Penetration 2

    “Reckall hired me on Phobos,” Bates lied easily. “I’m a private contractor; so, no uniform. I just don’t fit in with them.” And he indicated the outnumbered USNE crew’s enclave with a jerk of his head. The rebe...

  24. Mr. West Makes His Point

    “A coward,” Major Percival repeated in disbelief. Fuming, the apparition waved a hand. The walls of the room dissolved, revealing a dank cellar with a beaten earth floor and fieldstone walls. “What a pleasant farmhouse you owned in Yp...

  25. Ascension II: Penetration

    Bates walked into what had once been Threetown’s most popular eatery. Now it served as the mess hall for the survivors of the Synod-spawned plague and the USNE ship Nineteen Eighty-four. He took a tray and stared at the menu. He wasn’t actu...

  26. Ascension II: Shell Game

    The steel lattice of Threetown’s dome cut the sea of cold stars into fractal bytes. Inside were warmth, air and light; outside, nothing. But despite its comforts, inside was the more dangerous. Plague and murder had stalked the city’s avenu...

  27. Mr. West Takes a Drink (Mature)

  28. Mr. West Makes a Stink

    Mr. West, Lady Tor and Eustace shared breakfast close to noon. Melting ice sliding down the casement windows of the dining hall transmuted the feeble sunlight, as if they lived within a waterfall. “The gardener says he can’t bury Kipper,...

  29. Mr. West Cools His Knees

    A frigid mist had ascended from the estuary, muffling the searing little sunset with ruddy gauze. Mr. West, in greatcoat, galoshes and earmuffs, was examining the site of the Captain’s encounter. His knees freezing in the crusted-over snow, he me...

  30. Ascension: Lurkers

    As the searchers turned the corner, the alarm sounded in their headphones. A mechanical voice added, “901 3rd Avenue, door 2.” “Reinforcements to 3rd Avenue,” Hugh radioed. “To make sure Bates doesn’t move, let’s watch the street,” said...