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August 29, 2007


Your free association word of the day is empty.

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JIm: A Whole Lot Of Nothing

Popular vids depicted the asteroid belt as a swirling mass of rocks that ships must swerve and veer through to avoid collisions. The fact is, Jack thought while Weasel piloted the scout ship to their next survey target, there’s hardly anything out here. If it weren’t for sensors, ships passing from Mars to the Jovian moons wouldn’t even know the Belt was there.

Weasel glanced at him. “Whatcha thinking about?”

“Emptiness,” Jack chuckled.

Weasel grunted. “Yeah, well, if we don’t get some ore in the cargo hold soon, the boss will think we spent the week in the Sappho brothels.”

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David: Hollow Man

I sighted along the barrel to a point dead between his eyes. He laughed at me.

“You don’t have it in you,” he taunted.

“Oh no? There are lots of things I don’t have in me anymore. Faith in humanity. Hope for the future. Compassion. Mercy. You took them from me, one by one. You deliberately and systematically ripped from me every last scrap of joy. The love of my family is gone. My pride in my career, shredded. My reputation discarded like old coffee grounds.

“Don’t have it in me? There’s plenty of room. I think it’ll fit.”


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Sealyon: Crush

“My glash: empty! Thish ish unacceptable!” The man at the bar was practically shouting.

“I think you’ve had enough.” Sara moved the “glash” away from him.

“Lishen here, lady: do you know who I am?” He leaned menacingly over the bar, but the effect was spoiled by his swaying and squinting.

“Nope. Don’t care. No ‘speshul’ favors here.” Sara turned her back, and he lunged. Instantly a fine spray of black ink enveloped him. He sputtered, slipped, and fell in a boozy heap.

“Bradley.” Sara sighed. “You didn’t have to do that.”

Bradley blushed and went to fetch the mop.

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Ted: Just Like Opal Mining

It took weeks to pick out Mathilde from the black. The crater on her face, deeper than the oceans of earth, deeper than Mons Olympus was tall, was the perfect place to start. James knew tunneling from the days when he had two good arms, but he needed a place he could pressurize first.The robots he picked up when outfitting his rig could do that part, no problem.

He unshipped them both and went to sleep on board. Ten hours later, James had ten thousand cubic feet of empty and was ready to start the hard part.

"Let's go, cobber."

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Dave: The Empty Room

"I hate locked room mysteries," Chrys pouted.

Roger shrugged.

"I mean it!  And you know why?"

Roger shrugged again.  He'd heard it before, but he certainly wasn't going to interrupt her.  Once was enough.

"Because they're never the 'mystery' people think they are.  Haunts.  Faeries. Magicians. Psychics.  Demons."

"Deities," Roger suggested.

"Oh, yes, deities.  And that's not even counting half my family.  And all of a thousand flavors and homelands.  It's a wonder anyone vanishes from an unlocked room."

Roger let her voice fade into the background as his eyes started taking in details of the chamber from which Mr. Duffy had disappeared last night, screaming.

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