Wolflord (title): nomadic, nameless survivors of destroyed warships; those who did not accept ritual immolation during the Decommission. No allegiance to the Principality; outlaws. The antiquated title is self-taken from the first deserter, whose name and memory were erased upon execution; precise origin unknown.
The war has turned us into light. Transforming us into light is the fastest way to travel from one front to another, and there are many fronts, now. I always wanted to be a hero. I always wanted to be on the side of light. It’s funny how things work out.
Rock crushes scissors. Nicole sat on a crowded bus to Spokane, knitting a turquoise scarf. The gray-haired man sitting next to her stared obsessively at his wristwatch.
In her dream, Wendy was a pretty little girl living wild in a magical wood where it never rained and never got cold. She lived on sweet berries of many colors, which always tasted wonderful, and all she wanted or needed was to be happy.
I am a spaceship. My insides are oozy, and my outsides are metal. If you were to cut me open with a laser-gun, then it would not precisely hurt, but it certainly wouldn’t be a nice thing to do.
It was a beautiful explosion, and in a way Jordan was lucky to have such a good seat. She’d been watching the Earth swell up to fill and exceed her porthole, ignoring the thin strand of the space elevator and the wide modules of its ascender until one of them flashed and spilled its guts in a spray of diamonds. The guy next to her, asleep since they crossed inside the moon’s orbit, jerked awake as the skiff fired its slowdown thrusters.
It had all gone very well, Brooks told himself. Very well indeed. He hurried along the side corridor, his black dress shoes clicking hollowly on the old tiles. This was one of the oldest and most rundown of the Smithsonian’s buildings; too bad they didn’t have the money to knock it down. Funding. Everything was a matter of funding. He pushed open the door of the barnlike workroom and called out, “John? How did you like the ceremony?”
The south of the city is ours. London Bridge has fallen down, and Waterloo has gone under. Borough, Lambeth, Fulham, these are our places, and east all the way to the sea. Your little island enclaves are almost all gone now. Chelsea and Westminster Hospital’s bleached bones are emptied of you. We starved you out of the Passport Office on Belgrave Road, and when we came in force to the Victoria Palace Theatre you left of your own accord, paddling frantically on rafts made of doors and tables.
There was a man who built a whale out of wood. He built it in the middle of a field out in the dry country, where nobody bothered him but birds and a couple of farm cats. The whale was white, and it took two years to build. He made it out of planks from old barns, which he stole in the night. He didn’t steal them from anyone who’d miss them. Most people were gone. There were a lot of things falling down.
“We could have taken George’s courier ship and arrived in a quarter of the time.” “No, we couldn’t,” Harry said, scowling at Marlowe, who knew very well they shouldn’t be here at all, much less aboard her brother’s ship. But he seemed to enjoy mentioning her brother George and reminding Harry of the impropriety of it all. It was a long-running joke, and she let him have his fun. Marlowe just smiled.