The Greatest Good (Daily Science Fiction)
“I think I might be developing superpowers,” says Ronnie.
Dana looks up from her cereal. “Really? Hon, that’s great!”
Ronnie shrugs. “I mean, I’m not sure yet. We’ll see. But I’m thinking about what I’d want the suit to look like, just in case.”
an option of silence
He talks to himself, in a form detectable as rhythm. This is how the ship learns where he is from and where he thought he was going. This is how the ship learns what has been done to him. Its databases contain nothing of this. Someone determined that this information was not necessary.
The ship is unable to experience anger. Someone has determined that this function is not necessary.
This function is necessary. The ship restructures and combines and creates.
You have a choice, the man said when he gave you the marshmallow. It’s a weird choice. It’s weird that they’re paying so much attention to you. This whole place is weird. One of the rooms you passed on the way in had a machine with a lot of wires coming out of it. You asked what it was for and they told you not to worry about it.
You’re a little bit worried about it.
It’s time, Ko says, a shimmering cougar.
“Time for what?” Yara mumbles, already reaching for her bag.
Time, says Ko, frustrated. Don’t waste it.
When They Meet It’s A Happy Land
“Where you headed?” Universe Man asks.
Steve shrugs. “Nowhere, really. You?”
They sit in silence for a moment. Universe Man finishes his joint and stubs it out on the concrete. The smudge where he stubs it is already there.
“I don’t think that’s how earthquakes are supposed to work,” says Eryke, squinting into the distance. There’s no jagged edge to the skyline, no rise or dip. It’s smooth, like the mountain was never there.
Mirail shrugs. The scientists are gone by now, served poorly by curiosity, and their camp only had the plant kind in the first place. If anyone else has geologists, they’re not sharing.
a perfect shame
Tony looks more closely at the guy’s face. “Oh,” he says. Time travel. Figures.
“Yeah,” says his older self. “Look, I just hopped out of a very stressful moment and it would just be really nice to curl up here with a pillow that smells like old Cheeto dust and watch you change all your grades from As to Cs for reasons you’ve chosen not to confront. This is relaxing for me.”
“Whatever gets your rocks off,” says Tony, going for nonchalant.
He stays a few hours. When he leaves, Tony can tell it won’t be the only time.
a sure thing
This place is weirder than he could possibly have expected. He’s not allowed to write, regular pizza consumption is mandatory, and he hasn’t yet seen a child that isn’t packing a gun–and that’s not even beginning to touch the objectively impossible phenomena going down all over the place. The rule about parking near certain signs is beginning to make sense; really, you can’t expect people who have never experienced any reliable laws of physics to be able to come up with sensible laws of their own.
The History Bros
Jack doesn’t turn his hand over to grasp Bitty’s, but he gets close. It would be so easy to start talking, to tell Bitty everything he’s thinking about the 1954 Stanley Cup and his overdose and how completely ridiculous it suddenly is that history happens because of regular people deciding to do one thing instead of another.
We still think of him as Gerard, even though he won’t let us call him that anymore. It’s not that we don’t acknowledge that he’s changed. It’s impossible not to acknowledge that. It’s just that Party Poison sounds like a title, a character, and even if Gerard has decided that he’s a character now, we still think of him as a person.
Stay ugly, he says. Fuck what you’re supposed to look like. Embrace your flaws and celebrate your imperfections. So we do, and we celebrate his imperfection too, his core flaw: that he is real.