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
playing with dollsplaying with dolls
it was read once, in a story a hundred years old, that favorite toys become real through the love of their owners. it was about a stuffed rabbit.
today it would be a bad idea. toys are a lot more abstract. who'd seriously want a dalek in the middle of the street shooting things, or a pokemon becoming the local apex predator by electrocution?
i have inherited a number of old dolls, mostly tiny ones; the oldest has been passed down from five generations. i have been told that they are valuable, and should skip ebay and put them on a more high-brow auction site. okay. a well dressed man comes in, takes a number of photos and 3d scans, and says he'll give me an answer.
the newest ones are porcelain, with joints made from some early polymer; the oldest are cloth, stuffed with rags.
much has been said about toys wanting to be played with, there are even some movies. toys don't want to be played with. toys are not sentient. and yet, these things look antrophomorphic enough
Saving The Rotational Time UnitSaving The Rotational Time Unit
"Gene Ray, you're under arrest for repeated violations of the Consensus Act. You have the right to..."
Dammit, this is not right. That's not what I wanted.
At the beginning of the new cycle of time, there was a huge battle of ideas, at the end of which there were no victors, no losers, and no ideas. It started with Fox News suing for the right to lie. It continued with an unholy alliance of presuppositionalist preachers and deconstructionist philosophers and liberal arts majors saying that the laws of physics were just, like, your opinion, man. All bankrolled by people who were only too happy to refute through economics the principle that matter and energy must be conserved.
Reality, of course, presented its bill in the form of the return of the four horsemen. Famine and Pestilence did such a good job on people who figured they'd pray or play in drum circles rather than get shit done that there was little for War to do, when it came, in the tired