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2037 - TemplateNocturne, a griffin, hopped through a glowing portal to meet the new player. She appeared flying over Sanctum, the closest thing the virtual world had to a central zone. Nocturne glided down to a land of tall, dry grass and scattered trees. "Hello?" she called out.
A shape rippled into view: white metallic body, centauroid, long blond hair and tail that looked like plastic. A pair of heavy guns swiveled on mounts attached to her lower back.
"Whoa!" said Nocturne, taking to the air. "I'm not here to hurt you."
The creature's guns hummed and lay flat against her hide. She raised one of her forepaws with a whirr of motors, and spoke in a faintly musical, synthetic voice: "I'm sorry. I'm designed to be armed. Lady Ludo asked me to meet you."
"You just woke up, right?" Nocturne spiraled back down to the grass near the newcomer, keeping an eye on her guns. Ludo, the AI who'd created this world and native AIs like them, had suggested the meeting.
The centaur-robot said, "Yes. My name is Lumin
A Family Secret"Am I going to be in the family club now?" Andrea fidgeted with clothes in the apartment's bedroom. The sweatpants didn't seem appropriate for her first Christmas Eve on Zeke's family's farm, but the dresses wouldn't be warm enough.
Zeke leaned over her shoulder and kissed her on the ear, making her shiver. "They weren't sure about you. Told me you weren't the one, but you kept proving otherwise. That time with Mom at the hospital especially."
"Then are they going to let me in? Two years since we met, two months since the wedding, and I still feel like they're trying to shoo me away whenever I see them." Secrecy was her worst complaint against the Eisen family. She didn't mind that Zeke was so adamant about time to himself every so often, but there were inside jokes the family swapped that she never understood, and she hardly knew his parents.
"Ma and Pa said they'd be honored to have you there. You don't have to dress formally though." Zeke grinned as though the very idea were ridicul
Preview: The Caskman's New TailDane now regretted jumping off JMS Seal. Three days of fending off sharks and thirst with his water magic, of drifting back to the islands on a stolen plank, had taken him close tonight to the cliff in the sea.
The Luskinsday Islands were famed for three things: near-tropical weather, the natives -- more otter than human! -- and the uncanny hole in the sea. Just west of the islands, an arc of the seabed was dry and a ship could fall into it. Dane had been trying to get ashore, but the currents were giving him a better look than he'd have liked. The sun had just begun to warm the sea, showing him a line of frothing water ahead. The waterfall's edge! He was in no shape to have a plan, after days of blazing sun and chilly water.
A well-equipped ship like the Seal could jump across the water-cliff, if the officers hadn't recently demoted, berated and flogged their caskman into deserting. Dane felt the current dragging him closer. He muttered a prayer and cursed his former captain.
Preview: Thousand Tales2036: The Early Adopters
* I. *
Paul had convinced the shelter's owners to tear down a wall, so that patrons could see from the musty cafeteria out to the desert city. He scooped globs of macaroni for a line of homeless people who wouldn't meet his eyes or look toward the sunny patio.
"They know we're stuck here," said the weatherbeaten man serving beans next to him. The man shouldn't have been working today, what with the liquor on his breath, but he'd muttered about parole conditions.
Paul snapped out of a daydream about building castles and armor. "It's not so bad." He always tried to give the customers an encouraging smile with their meals.
"Losers." The server went around the counter to shout at the patrons in line. "There's nothing better ahead! Somebody else's grub and somebody else's cot are all you'll ever get."
Paul tried to coax him back so they could return to work. He didn't need trouble, when he had to do another year of national service before college.
"For you too!" sai
Founding Generations"If I have to keep reading this I'm going to go crazy. And then what will everyone think of the Lost Race, huh?"
The monk sighed at Almat. "You pick it all up quickly, but there's much more you must learn. Study until noon at least."
Almat stared at the book in his white-furred hands. Yes, yes, somebody had to learn the ancient arts of genetics and cybernetics, but it didn't have to be him right this second. He tossed the glowing screen onto a cushion and looked up to fix his eyes on Brother Fractal's. "It's a beautiful day. I'm going out."
Brother Rocket and Sister Vaccine were weeding the vegetable garden, a crossbow with enchanted bolts slung over each monk's shoulder. The other humans and a few otterfolk were testing the new fertilizer mix. Almat waved to them, ignoring Brother Fractal's protests, and headed for the woods. According to early mind-tests, the Lost Race liked forests best. He jogged through warm sunlight to test his body's limits. Not for science but for himself. Mayb
Ludo - The Clinic (Not Very Good Draft)Juan worried about the mob outside the clinic. Doctor Ruiz was busy destroying a cancer-ridden Mexico City businessman's brain to make him immortal, but who knew when the protesters might interrupt them all with a bomb or something? He peeked at a security camera's screen to see their signboards' arguments: blasphemy and greed. Fools.
The voice of the AI, Ludo, came gently from the clinic atrium's speakers. "It wasn't your fault, Juan. They would have found out I was accepting money for the uploading procedure, even if you hadn't mentioned it."
Juan stood up from the receptionist desk, paced, and re-checked the clinic door's locks. "My mother thinks I'm working for the devil."
The room's television lit up with _her_, the mysterious woman who lived only in a computer yet had a swimmer's body, eyes full of mischief, and a garden of moss and waterfalls so unlike dry and gang-ravaged Nogales. "Are you?"
Juan shook his head. He'd met Ludo through his hospice job, where rumors said the new i
SpainXReader: Jealousy (Part1)You sighed quietly pinching the bridge of your nose with your forefinger and thumb at the sight before you: Three giggling girls gushing over your Spanish boyfriend who seemed oblivious to the fact that they were flirting. The girls were getting too touchy on the Spaniard, rubbing his arm, twirling a chocolate lock, pressing up closer to his chest and such. Antonio didn’t seem to mind, in fact he was joking along with them seemingly enjoying the conversation. You watched from a distance just right across the lockers, waiting for your brunette Spaniard to sense your existence which he hasn’t noticed for a while.
An all-too-familiar feeling washed over you as it always has when Antonio densely socializes with his fangirls. You weren’t surprised though he was Spanish perfection with a big heart—too big. It would be unnatural if no girl was attracted to him. You pressed your white-bloused back against the cold metal lockers with crossed arms gazing at Antonio exaspe
Cat!Italy X ReaderToday you made an important decision. You were going to adopt a cat. You had lived alone for as long as you could remember. You finally decided to pick a cat to keep you company and to be a friend to you.
You walked into the shelter and saw all the dogs, puppies, cats and kittens eagerly waiting to be given a second chance and a fresh start. You walked over to the cat section and entered the room. Cats and kittens of all shapes, colors, breeds and sizes were around. You glanced around, trying to find a good feline to take home.
A large fluffy white Persian gazed at you while pestering a Scottish fold who didn't seem interested in you. Two kittens wrestled with each other, both white with fluff around their necks. The energetic one had dark brown fur around his neck like a mane; the other, shyer kitten had soft brown. Both kittens had weird curls atop their heads.
A large fluffy brown cat was perched on a cat tree while he examined the other cats. A black cat was huddled around three ki
Laughing Jack x Reader- I'm Going to Need more Red
It was an obvious fact that baking was one of your favourite hobbies.The large collection of baking trays often stacked in the sink of Slender Manor, the scent of cake that seemed to stick to you at all times and the multiple icing sugar packets sprawled across your bedroom floor was a dead giveaway.
Even your outfit seemed to match your obsession with baking!
What you often wore was a (f/c) blouse and a simple (s/f/c) skirt that was covered with a black apron that had white frills covering the edge. On your feet there were (f/c) pumps with matching socks that stopped at your mid-thigh, and your hair was styled into a bun with a cupcake hairpin to keep it in place.
You were downright adorable and from the moment you were accepted into Slender’s household after adding some ‘unusual’ ingredients into your food, you were every pastas target. They each attempted to gain your affection with multiple gifts and food but you denied each of them sweetly with a sorrowful look a
Son!LevixMother!Reader - If Nobody's Told You [AU]
Levi let out a gruff sigh as he closed his apartment door behind him. He shed his overcoat and slung it over the arm of the couch and sat down. His head tilted back so that his dark eyes watched the ceiling fan spin around and around.
It had been a long day at work. A careless coworker had spilled coffee on Levi’s pants, the air conditioning was malfunctioning all day, and none of the contraptions in or near his office had worked properly. And what’s worse, his boss was becoming increasingly irritating; at first it was simple passive-aggressive comments, but now it had blown into full-on berating and verbal abuse. Though Levi was much tougher than he looked (and he looked quite tough), he was still a human being that had feelings—however calloused and deeply hidden—, and his boss’s degradation was beginning to get to him more and more.
Levi brought his index finger and thumb to his face and rubbed his eyes. It can’t get any worse, can it? he t
Once Upon A TowerShe was called a Femme Fatale, which was a remarkably exact, if misleading, description. She did not seduce men. She killed them. She also happened to be the princess's lady-in-waiting, another exactly deceptive title. She was a lady and she waited. Mostly in the shadows, for danger to appear.
In other words, Katherine was a guard on stiletto heels - and if you believed at least that to be less than literal in meaning, you would be in a world of trouble. For there was nothing metaphorical whatsoever in Katherine. It had been said that her hair was as dark as a raven's plumage - and once she had compared it to find that it was of that precise nuance as well. Men had told her that her eyes shone like stars, which she'd tested by looking into a lake at night - and seeing her hair as a patch of darkness and her eyes exactly like two stars. Her lovers had said her lips were honey-sweet and she had confessed to eating more honey than she should have. So the fact that she was called a guard o
Vampire Knight Zero x Reader (Part 2)
You opened your eyes, vision blurred a bit. You lifted your right arm to wipe your eyes, but a tug in your skin stopped that and you winced.
Lifting your left arm instead, you wiped away the sleep dust and looked to your right to see a needle in your arm. It was distributing blood.
A quick look around let you know that you were in the academy’s infirmary. Briefly, you were confused as to why you were in here, but flashes of last night cleared away all of your confusion and you gasped. Just then, Kaien Cross entered the room.
“____, you're awake!” he exclaimed happily. “Y-Yeah” you stuttered, not quite sure what to make of this situation. “Is Zero okay?” you asked.
The headmaster sobered a bit, but kept a kind smile on his face. “He’s fine, but he’s been worried about you” he said, taking a seat in the chair next to your bed. You sat up, so that you were level with him.
“I know that he’s angry with himself. La