It would have brought Prince Thorne great delight to have apprehended Shannah Darkmoon, but the risk was too great. The Pegasus Guard had successfully rescued Lady Belinda from her flight, but her predicament wasn’t nearly as perilous. Shannah was enormous, her body so filled with the energy of the Voluptaas sand that she was glowing. Both the Prince and Baron Hughes were convinced that she would burst; they didn’t want the Guardsmen anywhere near her when she did.
But there was no explosion heard that night. In days following, tales of a floating orb illuminating the night skies made their way back to the castle. Each night the l
The table was clear a moment ago. When Lexi looked up from her reading and saw her nemesis, she didn’t hesitate.
“Die! Die! Die!” Lexi repeatedly brought the rolled magazine down on the dark smear that had once been a spider.
The commotion drew Tara to the living room. “Another one?”
“I think I got him.” Lexi slumped back on the couch, panting. The bubbling in her belly faded. She lifted up her tank top; she was visibly bloated but her quick reaction had limited the damage.
Tara sat down next to her and placed a hand Lexi’s exposed stomach.
Ariel laid limp in the lifeguard’s arms as he emerged from the waves and laid her down on the sand. She wasn’t moving.
“This is Chuck, reporting in,” the lifeguard said. “I’ve rescued the subject. Checking vital signs.”
Carmen looked on, rolling her eyes and shaking her head. Chuck leaned over Ariel to listen for signs of breathing, and her eyes opened. She kissed him on the cheek.
“Thanks, Chuck,” she said. “A pleasure, as always.”
“Subject is stable and healthy,” Chuck said, standing. “I’m returning to my post.” Chuck turned and jogged back to th
"Superior Lace Underwire, this is Suzie."
"Hello, I'm trying to procure some unmentionables for my wife, but I'm not even sure if it's feasible given her unusual requirements. I'm wondering if you could help."
"Custom lingerie is our specialty."
"Excellent. By the way, I've always thought the name was devilishly clever."
"To be honest, I never cared for it. Over the top if you ask me."
"Shouldn't that be under?"
"You're pretty clever yourself."
"I can't help it, it runs in the family."
"I see. Well, I'll need your wife's measurements to get a rough idea of what we're dealing with. Do you know them offhand?
"Actually I've written them on my h
Law of Pneumatic Economy: Compressed gasses are so cheap as to be practically free. Various people and organizations who have no particular reason to keep tanks of compressed gas around do so just in case they're needed someday.
Law of Containment Durability: Devices which are designed to contain or convey compressed gasses (tanks, hoses, pumps, etc) are made from highly durable materials and engineered to a level suitable for high-end aerospace applications. As such, they will never fail even when under extreme stress and operating well outside of their design specifications.
Law of Excess Capacity: Because compressed gasses are free a
Andrea strolled about in her camisole singing softly to herself as she merrily tossed rose petals across the floor. Eric would be home soon, and her skin tingled at the thought of cavorting with him among the fragrant petals.
Suddenly an arm reached around her waist. Andrea squeaked girlishly. It wouldn't be the first time Eric had surprised her from behind. Confusion, then fear flashed through her mind as a chemical-soaked cloth was brought to her face and something pressed against her navel. Her vision blurred, and a surge of pressure ballooned within her; her bosom billowed forward, her arms grew plump and turgid. Black lace tighten
Roger often referred to Leslie as a "living contradiction." She had an outlandishly outgoing and unabashed personality that was far too large for a woman who seemed so delicate and petite in every other way. Her bright, playful smile and twinkling blue eyes only served to add to her air of impishness. Her oversized attitude had been the second thing that had drawn Roger to her; he’d always had a thing for redheads.
Roger had first met her through his old buddy Harry. Harry and his girlfriend Belinda were planning a surprise birthday party and had invited just about everyone they knew. Leslie was a friend of Belinda’s.
When Roger w
Muscle and bone, heart and lungs, what a cumbersome way to construct a life form. Namunk chided himself for such thoughts almost as quickly as they occurred to him. His training had taught him better than that. If his people had learned nothing else from a hundred generations of exploration, it was that the universe had a certain order to it, and even the most bizarre life had an elegance that often wasn't apparent at first. Even the children of Araphon had their roots in embarrassingly humble ancestors. And if Namunk and his kind could rise up from such lowly beginnings, who knew what these humans could become, given time? All of this seemin
What was this place? Namunk thought to himself. This Julia creature seemed to frequent it, spending long periods here inactive. Home, she called it. Julia and her kind were quite complex beings, even having their own language. But they seemed quite oblivious to any entity that didn't have most of its substance in a material state. So while Namunk now at least had the vaguest idea as to what a "human" was, this Julia seemed entirely unaware of his presence. He would work on trying to communicate but until then he would have to be careful. These humans were quite fragile, and he had to make sure this one didn't come to any harm. But the fortuna
"Good Lord, Jenkins! What happened?" Dr. Kent had just stepped into the lab and was alarmed by the condition of one of his lab rats. And rightly so. Dr. William Jenkins was supposed to be running another battery of tests, and it looked like one got out of hand. The lab assistants were scurrying around trying to make themselves useful. And getting only mixed results. Fortunately, Jenkins remained calm, which was surprising when one considered that, just a few feet away, was a rodent that had been inflated past four feet in diameter that had floated up to the ceiling.
"One of the techs didn't watch this batch carefully. The refrigeration unit
Daphne looked up to see a familiar face. Well, not all that familiar. She’d met Cody in this bar for the first time less than an hour ago. And just over half an hour ago he’d made her a rather interesting proposition.
Even though Daphne wasn’t all that well acquainted with the virtual world, she knew the basics. She’d become accustomed to being propositioned by all sorts of people to do all sorts of things, even in a world as tame as MetroScape. Real or otherwise, the bar scene never changed. But this fellow actually had something she wanted, at a price that seemed quite reasonable.
Money made even
“My father once gave me some advice about cheap scotch,” Theresa mused as she gazed off into the dying glow cast on the clouds by the setting sun. “He told me that when it comes to liquor it’s always better to pay the price in money before you drink than to pay the price in pain afterwards.”
Alex was speechless. Even if his clothes hadn’t been too tight for him to breathe comfortably, he wouldn’t have had much to say. He was still quite dumbstruck that his entire body was swelling up. Eyes wide as saucers, his lips moved silently at a frantic pace as he sat immobile in his chair.
“You know if you’d
Ringmaster Kyra grinned as she surveyed her circus tent
"My circus is the greatest; every coin has been well spent!
I have no doubt at all no other circus can compare.
I'm used to being best, and I've the best show anywhere!"
Hearing this boast, one of Kyra's Clown's peeked out and smirked.
She could have some with this, she thought, if her plan worked.
"But have you been to Morganville?" the mischievous Clown said.
Ringmaster Kyra turned, then raised her brow and cocked her head.
"Tell me of this Morganville, they have a circus there?"
"Oh yes," the Clown chirped merrily, "And it's beyond compare.
The Ringmaster's a giant man, ten t
Cal hadn't intended for his life to wind up like this. He chuckled to himself as he scrubbed the oil from his calloused hands. "Whose life winds up as intended?" he thought to himself. But his had taken a decided turn for the worse several years ago, and firmly stayed there. Marcus had challenged him to a duel, and he'd lost. Caligula Torvath the Third, the greatest of the Torvath line of wizards, had lost. Had Marcus been a more noble wizard, he would have killed Cal outright and that would have been the end of it. But he'd done something far worse.
Cal had set up t
Uncorking a bottle of wine isn't really that hard. But despite my usual bravado, I was bit nervous. And nervousness gives the faintest air of uncertainty to even the simplest of tasks. One way or another the chianti would wind up opened, so it shouldn't have cause me any anxiety. I should have been concerned about the glasses, and I was, but I was also concerned about everything else because of them. I shook my head as I chuckled to myself. Knowing the perils of the human condition did almost nothing to alleviate them. I finally freed the cork.
It was a relief when the doorbell rang about half an hour later. A good chianti needs to br