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The Chicken Tales - Prologue

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Veronica took the soda from the counter, turned around and looked around the inn. Her attention was taken by a crowd of people gathering in a corner. She wandered over. There was a man with somewhat shaggy hair there who seemed to have their attention. He appeared to be flapping his arms and moving his head backwards and forwards in some sort of bizarre dance. She decided to move a little closer so she could hear what he was saying.

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Back on Target

'So, what do you think?' asked the gunsmith staring at the space to the side of Veronica. She looked back at him trying not to stare, but she could not stop doing it since she noticed that one of his eyes seem to look in a completely different direction from the other. How does he focus, she thought? How does he manage to make these guns?

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The Water Runs Red

Dyeing is something us clones do well, thought Veronica as she looked down at the surface of the water and stared at her own reflection. Her face stared back with enquiring eyes distorted in the blood red water. Something crumpled lay under the surface hidden in the depths.

'Will you be the same?' she asked what was under the water. 'Will you be like you were before?'

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I've Cooked Questionable Things

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'So Roy,' said the customer to the diner's chef at the front counter, 'You want to eventually get out of the food business and write these, what do you call them? science diction books?'

'Science fiction,' corrected the chef.

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Buzz of Activity - Part 2/2

Buzz.... Buzzz... Click! Click!

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Buzz of Activity - Part 1/2

'Hurry up,' Jake said to his friend Thimble, so called because that was about the amount of beer he could take before you became his best friend and had to listen to his life story. Thimble was trying to tear off a mudguard from the bike which had stood unattended in the middle of the road east of Trader's Flat for the past few days. It looked like others had already been at this bike taking what they could. Jake turned round and looked over at the trees, he thought he heard another growl from in there.

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Non Grata

The garage attendant looked at the girl. She stood there in a brown torn ragged t-shirt, obviously too large for her. Yes she was the one he was told about, he was sure of it.

'My bike,' she was saying. 'It is not far from here, on the road east of town but someone has taken bits from it.'

The Trader's Flat garage attendant just looked back at her saying nothing.

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Running on Fear

Deep in Kaibab forest, deep in the night...

Fear. Fear is the key here, fear is what makes you listen, fear is what makes you run, fear is what makes you survive.

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Pondering on the brink of extinction

The overhanging rock gave Veronica protection from the pouring rain as she sat huddled underneath it deep in Kaibab forest. Clothed only in a torn and ragged oversized T-shirt she had found stuffed down the back of some equipment in the cloning bunker, she shivered in the cold. The thin material of the T-shirt offered little protection from the biting wind.

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Curiosity killed the cat - part 2

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Half a mile east from Trader's Flat. Half hour after Noon.

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The State of the World

Old Greg walked along the dusty path and kicked a stone out of his way with an old tattered boot. Damn that hurt he thought as he cussed softly to himself. Grumpy Greg people called him, sometimes Old Grumpy Greg , and with good reason. First, his name was Greg, sort of obvious really. Second, he was old, he wasn't quite sure how old, but he had more years on him than some dogs had fleas.

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Closing Circles

'...little grey cells...'

'What?' Veronica said her attention brought sharply back into focus by these words. 'What did you say?'

'I was saying,' explained the merchant pointing to his assorted collection of socks. 'How popular these socks are. Those little grey ones sells the best. Of course they are also the cheapest.'

'Oh,' Veronica responded somewhat disappointed. 'Yes, people always need socks.'

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Some Bedtime Reading

Fingers tapped against the cup as some narrowed eyes stared out the open window across to the library building. The yellow glow of a lantern's light flickered across the glass of one of the windows. She was in there in still, reading those books. What was she looking for? Why was she here? What had they called her? Ah yes... he closed the window as he muttered the name to himself shutting the cold in but letting the name escape upon the breeze.

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Shh!

'Shh!' hushed the woman scowling at Veronica from across the room.

'Sorry,' Veronica whispered back.

Veronica and Blake were in the Repository examining the huge collection of books there. The place where they were gathered. copied and moved. But not it seemed all of them and certainly so far not the one Krieg wanted the ending of, the one about the murder on the train.

Veronica tried to read the mysterious title of one of the books on the shelf in front of her. 'Car-mah-sue-trah,' she tried to say. 'No! Not cars, I want trains! And murder!'

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The Rough Ride to Repository

The road is a dangerous place. There had been White Crow, bandits, Judges, and that thing on the road. Scientific curiosity has limits. Too hairy. Too many legs.

'I can see a sign ahead,' Veronica said into her radio.

'What does it say?' came Blake's voice over the radio. He had been guiding Veronica towards the meeting point, so he could then take her to the Repository.

Veronica narrowed her eyes trying to bring the rapidly approaching sign into focus while she steered the bike along the road. 'It says....er...says....oh sh-'

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The Sweetest Word Is Also The Most Bitter

As she approached the Northfields-Kaibab region, she almost drove past the building leaving it behind but something made Veronica turn the bike around and return to it. Stopping the bike in front of it, she got off and looked at the house. It stood alone, small, single level, the wood it was made from white like bones bleached in the sun, a sign of decay. A door hung off one hinge and banged softly in the wind as if inviting any foolish passer by to come in.

There was some blood on the door frame. Veronica pulled out a pistol.

'Hello! Anyone there?' she called out.

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The Drawing of Words

'The work is grand. I totally dig it.'

Veronica, while riding through the streets of New Flagstaff on her bike, chuckled to herself remembering how Mammal was talking back at the junkyard. He had read another book and was trying something out called 'Street Lingo'.

'Somebody nicked the papers I had in store for ya... sis.'

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Gone

Veronica wandered into the building containing the cells and walked up to the man who was studying something intently behind the official looking desk.

'I would like to see Mammal please,' Veronica said. 'You are holding him in one of your cells.'

The man's eyes briefly shifted upwards and then returned to the papers he was examining.

'Gone,' he said.

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Fracture - Turning the Page - Part 2/2

Continues directly from Part 1

A crowd was gathering around them. The Chota with the large hands released the tight grip on Veronica's hair and pushed her to the ground. She fell and on her knees and hands stared down at the dust on the ground angry at herself for being so careless for getting into Fracture and then getting caught.

'I found her creeping about,' the Chota said. 'Creeping about like some sort of....creeper.' He strength far outweighed his vocabulary.

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Fracture - Turning the Page - Part 1/2

Veronica scooped some mud in her hand and with great reluctance smeared some of it on herself. If she was going to try and look like a Chota then she should at least smell like one as well. With the torn pants and ragged top, she hoped she looked somewhat Chota. Thinking further she took her hand and messed up her hair. Did Chota use combs? She was not so sure.

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The Apple Ripens

'Volt? Isn't it?'

'Yes. Yes, it is' Veronica replied.

'Hm...yes...I thought so, I remember you around here before,' replied the scientist. 'Always thought you, Volt, had potential to be something one day, I mean not to my level, but something. Still do in fact. Yes..one day maybe.'

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The Lion, the Worm and the Apple

After inserting a piece of paper to hold the page, Veronica closed the book and took a deep breath.

Breathes in....

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A Campfire Clone Story

The man ran down the path leading to the quarry occasionally looking over his shoulder with terrified eyes. There was nobody there but he knew it would not be too far behind him. He continued running down the path, the rock faces on either side increasing in height as he ran, the path twisting left then right. Suddenly he took a turn and was faced with a solid wall of fallen rock. He beat his hands on the rocks. Trapped. There was no way out other than back the way he had come, but would it be there waiting for him or had it given up the chase?

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Room for Thought

A room is just a room, you can be inside it or you can be outside it. But close the door, put a lock on that door, a lock to which you have no key and the room becomes a prison to some, a mystery to others. Such was Brown's room in Spider Hill, but now the door was open and it was no longer a mystery.

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Life is not a Box of Cookies

'And you say she hasn't eaten any of these cookies?' the chemist asked staring at Veronica over thin rimmed spectacles.

'No,' Veronica replied. 'I have not given them to her, I brought them to you here in Chemtown after they were passed to me.'

'Good,' responded the chemist. 'Very good. Because they are indeed poisoned. Yes, if she had eaten six or maybe just five, yes that may be enough, then given a little time, then..er... what's her name...'

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Two Sides of the Same Question

There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil.
Ayn Rand

Catching the coin he flipped it onto the back of his other hand and examined it. Seemingly satisfied with the outcome he leaned back against the rough brick of the New Flagstaff Rider's office and gazed back towards the pond. She was still there, sitting on that bench, still looking at the pond.

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Anomaly

Anomaly removed. Attempting normalisation. Warning anomaly detected. Graham unit initialisation failed. Identity Error. Identity Error. Attempting correction.

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A Town Called Allegory

The town of Allegory was a desolate place. Veronica was surprised she had not come across it before. She stopped her bike and walked past the slanted sign displaying the town name into what she assumed was once the town square. The buildings around it were empty, devoid of life, beginning to decay on the path to ruin. Movement on the ground caught her attention and she bent her knees to take a closer look. A small creature was hoping about, it looked at her with bulging eyes and made a strange sound. 'Feeerrrppp! Feeerrrppp!'

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Chance of Survival

Chance of Survival: Calculating - Please Wait...

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Over Cooked and Under Prepared

It was hard work. Veronica was cleaning the oven after another dinner disaster. Dressed in yellow industrial gloves it was still hard work indeed. No matter how much she scrubbed it just did not seem to get any cleaner. She just did not understand, she would always follow the recipes, do exactly what was in the instructions, but the result was never how people told her it would be. She glanced up at the spongy mess near the sink, Gina's cake. It almost seemed alive at time, she was sure she had seen it move, for a cake it was kind of... well...sort of... well...

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