Genetech: Safari SwapSafari Swap
It wasn't exactly a spam e-mail. "Pen Pals," it read. "International English learners looking for people to write to! No cost! Hear from exotic locales!"
Devin nearly deleted the message, but was bored enough to investigate. It was December, which made the daily commute to the sawmill cold and dark. Even just reading about someplace warmer than Canada would be a welcome change. So he checked into the mail's sender and found it seemed like a legitimate social club, then signed up.
The next week he got an actual letter, on paper. He was impressed that people still did that. Cooler yet, the sender was someone from Africa!
"Hello. Am learning in special school. Very strange place but good food, and safe. My speaking good? Got lots to learn. Be telling me about foreign places please."
Devin thought about the letter all day at work; it helped him ignore the drone of buzzsaws. The next day he wrote back, trying to encourage the writer and use simple words. Part of what he wrote wa
Genetech: The Seeds of DoomGenetech: The Seeds of Doom
# 1. #
"Can I interest you in one of our unusual pets, sir?"
Aldous grinned at the saleslady, breathing the warm animal scents of the store. "No need for the 'sir'. And actually, I'm here to look for work. I don't have a lot of money." He'd graduated without a good offer, but he'd find something soon enough.
She looked unperturbed. "No problem. Why not check out what we sell while you're at it?" The clerk led Aldous past racks of cages, past kittens and a parrot that squawked, "Magnetic containment tokamak!" Aldous got distracted by a ferret that peeked out from a plastic tube and squeaked at him.
"A good choice," the clerk said. "Some people mind the musk, but we've toned it down."
Aldous blinked, his attention drawn from the bright beady eyes. "You had the glands and everything removed?"
"Genetically tweaked," she said. "This store is a subsidiary of Genetech."
"You sell biotech pets?" Aldous looked around the store again, now noticing unusual colors, exot
Genetech: Employment SurveyGenetech Employee Candidate Survey
This Employee Candidate Survey is meant to assist Genetech in identifying the very best potential employees. We at Genetech operate as a friendly family, and we hope to establish a great relationship with our workers, so please answer all questions completely and honestly. This survey will remain completely confidential except during evaluation by our corporate testing partner (OmniDrone Soul Dissection GmbH) and the NSA.
[INTERNAL COPY -- EVALUATION NOTES INCLUDED -- DO NOT SHOW THIS COPY TO CANDIDATES! THIS EVALUATION WILL BE SCANNED TO GENERATE AN "ISSUE LIST" SUITABLE FOR CANDIDATE REJECTION. ISSUE LIST CAN ALSO BE USED TO APPROVE CANDIDATE FOR EMPLOYMENT AT MINIMUM WAGE THROUGH GENETECH BLACKMAIL POLICY.]
(Please answer Agree / Not Sure / Disagree)
[SOFTBALL QUESTIONS FIRST]
-I believe in good customer service.
-Employees ought to work hard.
-Everyone can get along just fine if they stick to company policy.
-The customer is always right.
Shadow: Dark ConflagrationThe whole thing got blown out of proportion by you humans. Really, it wasn't like that at all. "Shadow the Hedgehog, Dark Hero?" Give me a break.
I woke up in a crater overlooking the city. I staggered to my feet and realized I had no idea how I'd arrived, what I'd been doing. There was something about a girl... but I don't think a good date ends with you in a crater. I slicked a gloved hand along the black spines of my back and decided I had a mission. I stared down at the city.
I really needed a good meal.
I ran to get the cramps out of my legs, way down the green hill and through the streets -- only to skid to a stop as a ghostly figure appeared in the air. His eyes glowed red, and he had the worst comb-over I'd ever seen.
"So you've returned," he said. "Time for you to fulfill our bargain."
"Huh?" I said.
"The bargain. You know, our dark and secret pact?"
"Uh, yeah," I said, backing away. No clue. "I'll get right on that."
The shadow gave a smile like a machete and vanished. I gues
Treasure of Jardin's Island# 1. Connor #
The tropical wind smelled of salt and ashes. The big man wrinkled his nose and drowned out the scent with another swig of beer. Half the foam got into his red mustache. He swiped a hand through it and focused on that, instead of what was coming.
"Hey, Connor!" Everyone drinking in the thatch-roofed, wall-less bar turned to see Fianna kicking up sandy soil as she ran. A couple of village kids were following the girl around, which made Connor grin and lift his mug to her.
"Bribing people again?" he asked.
Fianna hefted her oversize backpack and dug through the many pockets of her vest and belt, finally pulling out some candies from a city a thousand miles away. She passed them out to the kids and said, "Sorry, guys, but I need to go talk with my friend."
She went under the thatch canopy and flopped onto a stool opposite Connor. "So, they think we're crazy."
Connor drank. "Did they tell you about the Salted Place?"
"What the kids said was that a scary plant-monster washed as