• 02 - Mirrorheart

    18 – Far From Basic

    Ryan adjusted the blinds on the board room windows – the tinted glass kept out the majority of the glare. Still, it was something to fill the time, something to pass the seconds before everyone else arrived.   A meeting macro had aligned the table, set out jugs and glasses – everything was in place, except for the participants.   At his place at the head of the table sat several folders. Copies of both the basic outcomes of the night before. Under normal circumstances, these would be the meat of the discussion, as well as a preliminary folder with facts about Stef’s condition.   Jones walked in, nothing more…

  • 02 - Mirrorheart

    17 – The Simplicity of Touch

    When nothing else called her attention, she liked to spend the hour before any relatively important meeting near Taylor, so that she could ensure that he was on time. Not that it was something that Ryan commented on – he knew better than to start shit over something so petty. Still, she was sure that Clarke kept a record of every tiny transgression, for the day he needed blackmail.   Magnolia casually ducked the thrown knife, then ran forward on the balance beam, dipped and tagged the finish line, listening for the second knife as she turned to run back towards the starting position.   As she headed towards the…

  • 02 - Mirrorheart

    15 – A Love Story

    Magnolia knocked on the door to Taylor’s office and waited the requisite four seconds. The door had two locked modes – locked to the entire world, and locked to everyone except her.   By default, she was allowed in, but experience had taught her to give her commander a moment to consider whether or not he wanted company, or needed silence. After a silent count to four, she tried the handle, and it opened easily.   People thought Taylor was simple. People were idiots.   The recruit population at large saw nothing but an imposing hulk of a man with a penchant for snapping the necks of his enemies. They…

  • 02 - Mirrorheart

    06 – Last Requests

    Every tiny detail seemed blown out of proportion.   The sensation of his own breath. The brightness of the lab lights. The touch of fabric against his skin. Every pinpoint of information that was never otherwise considered.   Ryan wiped his cheeks, aware of every line on his palm touching the skin. Every unnoticed detail of hands he’d had for over a century. Hands he’d always feared shared too many details with Rhys.   So much – too much – of his early life had been in the shadow of a man simultaneously gone and not gone – as was probably the way with other templated agents. Other templates though,…

  • 01 - Mirrorfall

    31 – Recovery.exe

    Ryan’s body hit the blue like a corpse.   Despite himself, despite the numerous windows – both in his HUD and on the screens around him – telling him that the Director was still alive, Jones held his breath.   The recovery tank was large – seven feet on each side and seven feet tall. Large enough for every standard agent to lay horizontal and spread their arms, taking in the peace and fulfilment that always came when fully submerged in blue.   Blood spiralled away from Ryan’s body, riding the eddies towards the surface, before disappearing as the cleaning systems filtered it out.   Unique amongst the agents in…

  • 01 - Mirrorfall

    09 – Laughter in the Dark

    Stef looked back at the brick wall, sure of three things: First, that the sound of flesh against flesh was her buzz cut opponent slapping himself in the head as he sat atop the wall. Second, she wasn’t the ruler of the internets.   Not yet.   Third, the volcano-slash-agent was probably strong enough to push the wall down on her head and leave her as some sort of meaty hacker pancake.   A delayed fourth thought slowly crawled into her brain, telling her that she couldn’t stay behind the wall forever – one way or another, she had to receive judgement for her maybe-brilliant method of fulfilling the task.…

  • 01 - Mirrorfall

    08 – Litmus

    There was a knock.   ‘Uuuuugh.’   There was another knock, louder this time.   ‘Uuugh!’   ‘Miss Mimosa?   Stef lifted her head up and felt a soft weight on her head. Blanket. Sleep time. Good sleepy time. She dropped her head back down and started to sink back into the warmth of unconsciousness.   Another knock.   Stop ignoring the door.   Stef wiggled forward, expecting her bed’s headboard – knocking her head against that usually gave her the slight jolt of consciousness to get up when sleeping seemed like the better option.   Instead, her head hit nothing, there was the brief sensation of empty space, and…

  • 2019 Short Stories,  Screen Saver

    05 – Screen Saver

    Click to jump straight to the chapter. Someone kicked her. She moaned. ‘Get up!’ She could still taste blood and plastic. ‘Get up!’ Screen brought her hands up and felt disgusted when she found her face semi-glued to the carpet with blood. She hadn’t been out – if she’d been out at all, she could remember the passage of time, even though it was fuzzy – for long. ‘Your turn next, you’ve got to get up!’ A fairy shouted at her as he dragged her to her feet. She immediately went to the wall for balance, her head leaning against the window. The room was half empty, and her headache…