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Zero ToleranceZero Tolerance
"Mister Biollo, I am sorry to tell you that your son is being suspended from school for five days, and referred to psychological counseling, after getting into a fistfight."
Not the sort of thing you want to hear, really. "Is he all right? Is he hurt?"
"Not past a black eye and some scrapes. Anyway, that's not the point. Please come pick him up at your earliest convenience."
"He didn't get into a fight with the Baumberger kid again, did he? Renato is three years younger! Why didn't you do something!"
"Sir, we have a zero-tolerance policy for schoolyard fights. As such, we are both going to-"
"It's Miss Biollo, actually. Anyway, I have to... deal with other family matters, I can only be there in an hour."
"Our policy is not to-"
"Great, goodbye, I'll be there as soon as I can."
This has been going on for the entire year. A boy gets bullied. A bully is on the basketball team, and has mostly been getting away with it. A boy has gathered up courage, finally, and fought back,
nest full of blankets"And that's where you will be sleeping."
It's a small alcove under the water recycler, roughly semi-spherical. As per request, it was filled with blankets and just a bit of velcro to hold them in the low, erratic artificial gravity. She says it's good. He also says it's good. We turned a half million dollar problem into a three hundred dollar problem, and saved some precious weight and volume. No body will care.
The handcuffs click around my wrists while I taunt the riot cops. They are too disciplined to charge. Then some body turns the camera off, and I get into the least fair fight of my life. I live. The limbs I break will no doubt be added to my fine. I walk away when the blast-off knocks flesh and metal down, just when my mental countdown said, except I expected it. "There's nobody taller than the last man standing" I tell a flat screen, bloody lips curled in mad triumph. "There is no body here" it answers in perfect deadpan. Guess it wins this one. Well, I'm broke now. Time to fi
The Battle for ArmageddonThe Battle for Armageddon
You know, it's hard to maintain any sort of meaningful approval rating when the laws of physics are suspending themselves just to dick you over. I understand that. I used to feel sorry for Nikola Karsus.
Of course, I know it's not him in there anymore.
So, what happened? The Rapture, the Tribulation, all that nonsense. Well, not quite as the Left Behind books describe it of course; I'm fairly sure that the nuclear attacks were caused by USAF fundamentalists thinking that it was some other kind of rapture, and they didn't want to be left out of the fun.
Anyway, so yeah. God decided it's judgement day. Doesn't show up himself, of course, but things start happening according to some lunatic's interpretation of Revelations.
That was seven years ago. Three years earlier, Nikola was shot by some Australian sniper, and made a miraculous recovery. The nutbars calling themselves the Tribulation Force say that he came back because his body is now controlled by Satan.
here comes the sunhere comes the sun
"Look buddy, I'm an engineer."
Throughout and past the twentieth century, the vampire myth went from "horrifying monsters that sometimes bother to hide between a veneer of respectability" to "oh-em-gee, wouldn't this be the best boyfriend ever."
"That means I solve problems."
Throughout and past the twentieth century, the engineer myth went from "champion of science as it applies to the common man" to "overworked, underpaid bastard who makes a third of what the guy making the powerpoint slides gets and will maybe pay his student loans back when he's sixty".
"Not problems like, what is beauty?"
You could write a teens' fiction book about it. You could write a doctoral dissertation about it. I will let you guess which get read the most, which matter more in the collective consciousness.
"Because that would fall within the purview of your conundrums of philosophy."
Turns out that if enough people believe in something, and it's
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