The rain was cold and punched Darnell’s face with tiny cold fists as he ran. The rhythmic pounding of his boots on the pavement accented by the splash from an occasional puddle. It could have been an almost enjoyable run if it weren’t for the sounds coming from behind him. He was otherwise in a pretty terrific mood, since his friend-zone girlfriend Zed was at his side. Her shoes didn’t seem to make nearly as much noise as his boots did, but he was dressed to look tough. Zed actually was tough.

“So, do you think we’re gonna make it…


When a thing smokes, it’s not always a bad thing, but sometimes you have to see things differently than others do. This time the smoke meant something big, and awesome — at least for Yasmin Canter. Yasmin was ecstatic, but she had to keep her face still. When an apartment building burns to the ground, and dozens of people are losing their homes, it’s generally bad form to stand outside looking excited. It could look suspicious.

Photo by Chris Karidis on Unsplash

Yasmin held her face firm and stoic through the mixed emotions. Sure, there was sadness that her apartment was on fire but she had…


“All systems nominal. Mars surface stable. Prescribed distancing established. Mars walk is a ‘go.’” The droning voice of the ship’s main computer made Talia Resnick’s neck hair stand up straight even though the dulcet tones were designed to be the most soothing.

Photo by Marek Piwnicki on Unsplash

Her haircut resembled a blonde mushroom — long on top and cropped short on all sides. She scratched her head aggressively because it would be at least a few hours before she could do it again. Tanner Blackman held her helmet at a specific angle so she could walk into it, and when she had, he twisted it…


Walter Messer was the great-grandson of the German designer responsible for one of the most feared fighter planes in propeller-driven military aviation, the Messerschmitt fighter planes of Luftwaffe infamy. Great-Grandpa Willy Messerschmitt fled to Argentina following the war, bringing nothing but a small handful of books in a leather satchel. That satchel made it’s way eventually to Walter, and lived quietly under a stool in the corner of the messy garage behind Walter’s pale green house on the quiet street in an old south-Denver neighborhood.

Photo by Fredrik Öhlander on Unsplash

The house itself was specifically bland on the exterior. It was on a post-WWII street…


The sun woke Jorn and Aitna before it broke over the hill to the east. They spent a few minutes rubbing against each other playfully, but quickly remembered their goal, and the reality of their situation. Jigount would show up soon and would be unrestrained by polite convention. He was sure to come unhinged at what he found in the chambers below.

Photo by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash

They wiped each other’s naked bodies down with sponges left for them in a glass basin they found near the door. Afterward the pair dressed and descended the grand staircase, crossed the entryway and entered the dining hall…


There is nearly nothing that can prepare you for really bad news. Oliver discovered this fact two days before Fall Break. He woke up to go to school as he always did. His first glance at his phone and the 15 unread message notifications made it clear that nothing else about this day would be like any other.

Photo by Alex McCarthy on Unsplash

He sat in his underwear on the edge of his bed reading through the messages from all his friends, trying to piece together what was happening.

“Can you believe it about Ms. Carter?!!!!” Believe WHAT!?

“Seatbelts are a SCAM!!! There’s no way…


Fred Perfidious was a slight man, even for the very hip and trendy neighborhood he lived in, on the edge of the Cherry Creek bike path, on the fringe of downtown Denver. He needed a passable cover and his appearance would have made him stick out in many other places. The apartments he lived in were converted from a warehouse, originally built over a hundred Earth years earlier. Fred couldn’t have cared less about such trivial factoids because he had heard every type of such meaningless drivel over his 213 cycles as a field observer.

Photo by Angela Bailey on Unsplash

This assignment was not without…


Jack Spridgians woke up earlier than normal, but instead of laying about sipping pseudo-coffee he snuck silently out of bed and began searching the apartment for the mysterious crypto-seed. He had heard the term but wasn’t sure what it was, and really didn’t have any way to find out just yet. What am I looking for? A key, a chip? Drek. It could be a piece of paper with some gibberish written on it. How the hell…? Ha. Hell. There’s a useless old term. The religions all died out pretty fast a century ago. What the hell IS hell, anyway…


Riel Harkness looked like she would jump right out of her skin. She plopped down on the floor of her best friend’s room and pulled the unmarked cube shaped box out of her bag.

Shiloh Dikastis was not impressed. “Neato. A box.”

“Oooh. This is not just a box, my friend. This is an Aeloian Box.”

Photo by Christian Lue on Unsplash

“Even neater. So it’s an ancient Greek radio?” Shiloh rolled her eyes and continued scrolling on her phone.

“No, silly! It’s a box that is supposed to emit an upper tetrachord minor.” Riel’s eyes were showing the whites on all sides.

“Sounds Greek to…


Jean-Paul Cloutier spoke in hushed tones to his plants. The rack rotated constantly inside a drum-shaped machine that only stopped when he made it stop which he never did. This drum was full of a variety of young vegetables from around the world, and were the first to be raised on artificial gravity and French love poetry. The purely hydroponic system was enclosed to maintain the specific environment of humidity, nutrient flow and light. The light was from the sun.

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

This large extended pod of the International Space Station came online in 2029 to study a variety of growing conditions…

John G Swift

Writer — Futurist — Analyst — Put the best ideas forward

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