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The first chapter of "Incitatus", a novella set in the world of upcoming hard sci-fi tabletop roleplaying game, Project Aphelion. On board of “Incitatus”, a prison ship for convicts deemed a nuisance enough to be imprisoned for a whole twenty-year-trip, multiple factions find themselves tied in the fight for an incredibly valuable… for lack of a better word, thing.


…ship slid through the void, dark except for an occasional flash of manoeuvre thrusters correcting its course. Its main engine was cold, having done its job many weeks ago – double rows of rocket exhausts idle. The rocket formed the core of the ship, with the crew quarters set on protruding columns forming an axis on which the bulbous hull rotated slowly. Overall the ship resembled a giant, pale mushroom with a conical…

By Jakub Wisz

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Little Lies

…lies we all believe,

because they make us feel good,

like things happen for a reason

If you do what Jesus would.

Now, the truth we don’t say out loud,

like progress comes from greed.

And, an artist is just a fool who makes

the things that no one needs.

Or, to put this another way,

you might as well be masturbating.

It’d be easier to sell the paint,

than the god damn oil painting.


But baby, keep creating

as long as it’s liberating.

And, pour your soul into everything you do.

But me, I’ve already seen

the side where…

By Paul Resnick

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Blind Greed

…placed a cup of tea on the table in the far corner of the super supermarket’s food court. She removed her sweater before sitting down. As one who was sensitive to invisible energies, there was never a perfect time to shop in public places, only a prayer that nothing too malevolent would attack her.

True to routine, she slowly sipped her warm, herbal drink while conducting a psychic scan of the interior building and its customers, a practice that typically takes thirty minutes, even more when the store is exceptionally crowded. There was nothing out of the ordinary that caught...

By L L Cartin

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Barely a Breeze

…finger tips touch the walls of my cage and I whisper, “Madness is like gripping a railing on a spiraling staircase knowing it doesn’t have a platform on either end”.

“Baby, what do you mean by that?” My husband startles me while pushing past the door to my side.

A voice whispers, “Distract him” and so I do.

“Oh my love, you’re back! I was just playing with words. You know me.” I embrace him and he’s distracted.

“Look what you’ve done with this room, it’s beautiful” he exclaims…. “Your nurse is so kind to you and look at all…

By Taylor Amber Rose

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Unhappy Happiness

…is value in pain

Though most disagree.

Many try to avoid it

Thinking they will be free.

But the pain doesn't disappear

Its only stuffed, drugged, or denied.

And over time the pain will erode us.

Failed attempts to escape give way to its unrelenting tide.

So what should we do with pain,

When it grips us in its claws?

When it crushes and pushes and smothers and gnaws?

In labor, it's a queue to impending birth.

A woman's body is working

To bring a human to earth.

The key in childbirth

Is letting pain have its way.

But even…

By Angela Jones

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The Abyss

…slate-like under my bare feet; cold, slick, impenetrable. The air is stale and clammy. My hands blindly lunge into obscurity; nothing within grasp, only the vacuum of the dark barren. The cold emanates from within my soul and spreads through the fibers of my nerves, embracing every inch of my body. I call out; my voice falling flat, no walls to echo my shout. I shiver, not knowing if this is from the chilling dankness or my own fear and fall to the ground.

Sobbing, I crawl through the misty darkness for hours. The floor is slick from the dewy…

By Tracey Koehler

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The Provincial

…flinched as I heard a thud, followed by mad fluttering. I cautiously approached the kitchen window, and peered through the murkiness outdoors. A massive black bird lay on the ground, flapping his wings, but unable to right himself. The poor thing must have lost his bearings in this weather and flew into the the large picture window. His fluttering became erratic, then slowed, and finally stopped.

The weather outside was dank and the ground covered in thick fog; not a day to spend outdoors by any means. It was, however, perfect for an evening inside with a good book and…

By Tracey Koehler

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…remember lyin’ upon my momma’s bed lookin’ to the shards of sunlight slippin’ through the cracks of the wall’s boards; I came out upon that bed that was standin’ within a room that Momma called “the shed.” Well, she called it that because it stuck out from the side of the shack that we were livin’ within. Anyway, that shack stood upon the land of my daddy’s owner. Well, Momma saw him more as a boss than an owner, and I suppose that she had to see him that way because she hated him. Now, I say that because this…

By Christopher DelMonaco

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Pathologically Disconnected, or, Why I Write Novels

…handed my college buddy a small magazine clipping with a photograph of some place with trees and water. I’d just had a very nice visit there, in fact. Then I ripped out the page I was looking at and cut the place out.

“What is it?”

I was excited to explain the birthday gift. “It’s a. . .it’s a ‘place-to-be’. You look at it and you can picture yourself in the picture, anywhere in the picture you want. . .Like I did. When I looked at it; it was a really cool picture that…

By Gabriella L Garlock

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