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Getting Ahead

Veronica had driven the buggy down this road many times towards New Flagstaff. She knew every hole, every rock, every plant in the road to avoid. Left - avoid the hole - right - avoid the large rock - right again - avoid the plant growing up - left - avoid the big hat.

Big hat?

Veronica stopped and jumped from the buggy to investigate.

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Talents Uncovered

'Why does she decide to paint when it is so cold?' Sharky complained sitting in a room in the house of Hyle.

'Keep still!' Hyle called out with a paintbrush in her hand. 'Or you will be a blur in the painting.'

'Keep still when shivering?' Sharky grumbled. He moved his gaze to Veronica sitting beside him. 'Why are you not cold?'

'It is not so cold,' Veronica replied. 'Imagine being warm, sunshine, sauna, campfire, hot soup-'

'Okay, okay' Sharky said. He closed his eyes a moment before opening them again. 'No, still cold,' he said.

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Suspicions from ages left

Brett felt very uncomfortable in the protective suit as he awkwardly walked to his friends, Das and Fenster, standing near the window.

'What?' Brett asked from under the protective mask as he noticed the smiles on their faces. 'What is so funny?'

'Nothing,' Das said. 'Yes nothing,' Fenster agreed still smiling. Both laughed. 'Sorry,' Fenster said,' but with the mask you sound like that Derek Vader, or that is what i was told he sound like.'

'Why me? Why does Bogenschütze not go?' Brett complained.

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Prickly temper

 

Luka stepped out of the lab door and breathed deep the fresher air outside. The lab was not smelling so good. He was beginning to suspect the moisture making mud, perfect for shampoos, or so the Traveller guy had told to him, the mud which smelled of creeper dung, was creeper dung.

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A Lot of Hand Waving - Part 7

On the top of a small hill near the town of Spider Hill, but far away from the spider nests, a group of pale faced people stood in circle around a fresh grave. Light rain fell from the cloudy sky and from the pale faces, the eyes cried eyeliner. For some the hands were raised to brows, for others they waved in front of them and gripped air with grief. A few sobbed silently on anothers shoulders. All were brought together in silent sorrow, grief displayed with gesture and expression. Every movement clearly made with a wave of the hand, a turn of the arm, a lowering of the head.

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A Lot of Hand Waving - Part 6

Veronica open the door a little, looked out and then shut it again.

'There is one on the other side of the door,' she whispered to Susan who stood behind her with the others.

'What do they want?' Susan whispered back.

'I do not know,' Veronica whispered a reply.

'Why are you whispering?' Charlie asked loudly.

'Sssshhh!' Veronica and Susan both said.

Veronica opened the door. A woman with a very pale face stood outside. She was wearing a striped top and beret like the others. She raised a hand and waved.

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A Lot of Hand Waving - Part 5

'They have surrounded the building!' Veronica exclaimed when Susan ran down the staircase. Susan ran to a window and looked out. Outside, two of the strange pale face creatures were waving hands in the air. One seem to be feeling for rain and then opened its Umbrella, invisible of course. The other began to dance, one hand holding down on its beret.

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A Lot of Hand Waving - Part 3

'Can you hear anything?' Susan Grindel, one of the radio station main broadcasters, asked.

'No,' Veronica said listening to the door. 'Nothing.'

'Perhaps they have gone,' Susan said.

'Only is one way to be sure,' Veronica responded. She opened the door. A pale face with a beret stared back, Veronica gasped and quickly shut the door. 'No, still there.'

'Let us look from above,' Susan said. Veronica followed her up the staircase.

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A Lot of Hand Waving

Veronica stopped the buggy, jumped out and began to walk towards the building containing the Spider Hill Radio control room. Her eyes danced left and right to the ground so to avoid meeting anything with eight legs when suddenly she bumped into someone. She looked up. It was a man wearing a striped white and red top and a red beret.

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C.O.D. - Chair on Delivery

'I am Luka Fosburgh,' Luka said to the man behind the counter in the New Flagstaff Franklin Rider Officer. 'I was told you have a letter for me but it needs the payment.'

The man behind the counter looked at Luka noticing his slightly wet hair, freshly washed, he thought, looks soft, nice shine. 'Luka... yes...Luka. Something back there. I will fetch it.' He wandered to the storage area for what seemed to Luka like ten minutes but was really two, and returned with something in his hand. 'We need five blue please. The sender forgot to pay.'

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When claws are not so sharp

Keywords:

Houses do not usually talk. Veronica knew this. She jumped out of the buggy again, looked back to the house hidden in the darkness and listened. Nothing. Just the wind. Veronica was about to get back into the buggy when she heard it again.

'Help.'

It was not the wind. It was a voice.

'Help me. Please. I can hear you out there,' the voice called again from the house.

'Hallo?' Veronica called in reply. 'Is anyone there?'

'Over here,' returned the voice. 'The house. Inside the house.'

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Stuck

'Are you sure?' Luka asked walking around the rock on which Veronica sat.

'Yes,' Veronica replied. 'The mechanic said on the radio that he will send someone.'

Luka stopped walking and looked at the buggy. Silent and still. 'Perhaps you could try it again?' he suggested.

'We have tried it four time already,' Veronica said. 'Something is wrong, it needs the Mechanic to examine it.'

'Did you check the fuel?' Luka asked.

'It is electric,' Veronica said. 'Battery not fuel.'

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Foot Fools in the Shadows

Veronica and Sharky stood outside the cave looking at the enterance.

'This is it,' Sharky said. 'The home of a huge Sasquatch.'

'The cave looks like a throat,' Veronica said.

'With a huge hand on top of it,' Sharky added. 'See, it even has a thumb.'

'Yes, You are right!' Veronica responded seeing it also.

'A big hand for a big foot,' Sharky chuckled.

'And a big throat,' Veronica added.

'But is it deep?' Sharky said quietly.

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Knock, Knock, Knocking on Halloween Door

Keywords:

It was Halloween and the gloom of the evening seemed to be alive with mischief. Or so Veronica liked to imagine. As she stood in Lukas lab in New Flagstaff she glanced over to the carved pumpkin near the window. Well, it was not really a pumpkin, more a oversize tainted vegetable of some kind. Actually it was not really carved, more hacked to some hideous form by the enthusiasm of Veronica but with very limited skill. She smiled. It really was hideous. Luka hated it but it quite is the resemblance of him she thought.

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Like a Volt in the Night

'Calling Window Washer. Calling Window Washer. Hallo? Are you there?' Veronica stopped and listened to the radio. No response. She glanced out of the garage to the Picus gate, illuminated by guard light in the night, before returning to try the radio again. 'Calling Window Washer. This is Purple Pigeon. Are you-'

'Veronica is that you?' returned a voice within the crackle of static.

'Shh... Do not use my real name!' Veronica responded urgently.

'Oh yes... I forgot about that Veronica,' crackled the voice again.

'Fenster! No real names!'

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Incident at Picus Ridge - A Special Oddity

T PLUS SIX MINUTES

Sharkdog glanced out from the garage towards the gate of Picus Ridge. Where was she? Surely she must be here soon. He would have joined her, but the Techs there always seem to be suspicious of him. He walked about impatiently and then looked outside again. Something purple was approaching, fast. 'Sharky! Sharky where are you?' he could hear her calling. He walked outside.

Veronica ran up to him, breathing rapidly and covered in something. 'We must go!' she screamed. 'We must go now! Run!'

 

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A Taste of Ancient Greece

'The veranda of the Black Beer Bar,' Sharky told her on the radio, 'is a good place to watch the storm.'

It was. Veronica found Sharky already sitting on the bench on the veranda. They watched the storm, the charge of electricity in the air, the sound of the thunder, the flashes of the lightning.

After the storm, they went into the Black Beer Bar to have some food.

'The Jerky for me please,' Sharky said to Tex behind the counter before turning his head to Veronica and asking "And you? What would you like?'

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The Bowl That Walked

'He called you Missy?' Sharky asked.

'No, messy' Veronica replied. 'He said messy. Me! My corner is tidy unlike the rest of his storeroom.'

'I am sure he likes you paying rent, so he cannot complain too much,' Sharky pointed out.

Veronica was not listening. 'Messy! He is always losing things, not me. Except the hat day...'

'The hat day?' Sharky asked puzzled.

'The day my hat was missing.'

'Which one?'

'The purple one.'

Sharky sighed and decided not to make the obvious comment. 'Did you find it?' he asked.

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Choose Well

'Ut ois bei Ohahsiz ahn Syidyar Yill,' she explained. 'Ahy yent yere ahn mah bahgy. Tah bahgy ahs mahsh lahgahg spahs fah tahls ahrnd ahkipmahnt.'

A brief pause before continuing.

'Ah ahreifed aht tah bahnker ahn zaw tah ahntarna ahn dah rahf. Thrah wahz ah lahdah baht yit wahz fahri- aahhh ah fahgaht tah sah ah wahnt anzeid baht tah dahrs tah fah stahps wahz shaht. Ah eih ahd tah spahk tah fah mahn insahd yahzing ah mahkerfohn nah tah dahr. Iyt wahz fahree strahng.'

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Funky Funkgerät

Veronica got out of the buggy and looked up toward the sign.

'LIFENET Making Eternal Life Affordable Cheap'

A joke? A protest? What of clones? Are they cheap?

Veronica shrugged. Not cheap but affordable and she was getting paid by someone called Kaylee to do this job. Repair the antenna she said, on the roof of the bunker.

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A Chota bedtime story

The Chota woman stood in the tent and looked at the two children and shook her head. 'No, no more play. It is time for sleep.'

The children began to protest but the woman put her finger to her lips. 'Sshh. Quiet.'

*     *     *

'We should have kept quiet,' the woman said to her husband. 'We should not have spoken to the Enforcers.'

'It was the right thing to do,' her husband said wrapping his arms around her.

'I am afraid,' the woman said. 'I am afraid he will come.'

*     *     *

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Between A Rock and a Crazy Place - Part 2

"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one."

Albert Einstein


'What are we going to do Dude? I mean... will she dissolve or something?'

The geologist known as Rocky looked to his Vista friend. 'What? What the hell are you talking about?'

'She is one of those collar wearerers dude. They dissolve if they... you know... when they... you know... if they... you know...'

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Between A Rock and a Crazy Place

"Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world."

Albert Einstein, Smithsonian, February 1979


Veronica knocked on the door. From inside she could hear loud music but no response to her knock. She knocked again. Nothing. She pushed the door open a little and peered inside. The room was thick with smoke. 'Is anyone there?' she called. Someone was in there. 'Hallo?' she called again louder, 'Anyone there?'

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The Bonds Between Us

The secret agent struggled but the straps were too strong. He was firmly attached to the table. Nearby the machine was quiet with a hint of menace to come.

'It is no use struggling Mr Bond,' said a man in a white suit before pulling a huge lever. The machine began to hum and then pulse of electrical sparks which danced all over it.

'What are you going to do with me?' Bond asked hiding fear and concern from his voice, ever professional.

'Give to you a little encouragement,' the man said with an evil grin.

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Dangerous Anticipation

It stands there always. Sometime alone. Sometime with others. Some feed it. Many visit it. In rain it stand, in sun, in day, in night. Guardian of the secrets within. Keeper of the mysteries shrouded in paper and string.

Veronica walked over to it and stood in front of it. Was it in there? She thought to herself. Had it arrived? A man nearby glanced in her direction. A woman stopped talking to her friend and turned to see what would happen. Two people walking stopped to watch. Excitement. Anticipation. Veronica opened the mailbox. Slowly. Carefully...

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A Fallen Carol: Part 5 (end) - A Christmas to Be Remembered

Stooge danced around the bunker while putting on his coat and hat and singing happily to himself. Once ready he rushed up the steps, through the bunker and through the doors to the outside. A small figure was walking nearby.

'You!' Stooge called after him. 'You boy!'

A short man with a whiskered face turned around 'What?' he replied with irritation. 'I am not a boy, just not tall, okay?'

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A Fallen Carol: Part 4 - The Clone of Christmas To Come

The bunker lights flickered on and off and Pod number three continued to hum. The temperatur inside the bunker had lowered and Stooge sitting in the bed shivered and wrapped the blanket around him.

Eventually the humming and the flickering of the lights stopped. In the dim light Stooge looked over to the pod as the door slowly opened. Mist swirled and crept out along the floor. Nobody left the pod. Stooge watched and waited. Still nobody emerged.

Slowly curiosity overcame fear and Stooge left the bed and walked over to the pod. He peeped inside. It was empty.

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A Fallen Carol: Part 3 - The Clone of Christmas Now

The noise of pod number two became gradually louder as if announcing the next visitor and then the noise became silence. Stooge looked to the pod. There was someone inside, perhaps they were-

Someone jumped out and with a loud voice roared "Merry Christmas!"

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A Fallen Carol: Part 2 - The Clone of Christmas Before

The hum was louder now and joined by other noise as the clone pod began the process of producing a body. Stooge remained under the blanket, peeping out to the pod. He did not like this. Not one bit. Perhaps if he remained hidden, whatever was coming would not notice him and go away. He pulled the blanket totally over himself.

From underneath the blanket he could hear the symphony of electrical, mechanical and biological noise as the pod continued to work to make a clone. It seem to never end, but then as suddenly as it began, it stopped.

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A Fallen Carol: Part 1 - A Ghostly Visitor

It was the night before Christmas, when all through the bunker, not a creature was stirring, not even a-

Actually that was not true.

'Haaaaaaaaaaatschi!'

The sneeze echoed around the inside of the cloning bunker.

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by Dr. Radut