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“Too much talk,” she hissed impatiently. “Still prey nearby.”
“How do you know?” I wasn’t picking anything up but there were plenty of other ways to see.
“The forest tells me. How I found you and other prey.” She stalked back into the underbrush, and I fell in behind her.
“Hey, hold up a second! Doc?”
“Project Panthera: human-jaguar hybrid with altered epidermal neural transmission,” he rattled off.
“Right,” he grunted. “The same way your skin picks up vibrations in the air, hers picks up the biochemical signals from plants. It’s like she’s plugged into the forest. She probably feels anything that so much as bends a blade of grass.”
“Great,” I muttered, turning back to Panthera. “Why are you hunting Legion?”
“Man in glasses told me they were prey.” She shrugged. She didn’t seem to have any more intel than I did, assuming she was being straight-up with me.
“So what did he say about me?” I asked. Call me paranoid, but I was a little hesitant to trust a Weapon which had launched itself at me not five minutes before. She stopped and regarded me thoughtfully, blinking her eyes slowly.
“You are different. Strong. Fun. But not prey. Maybe you are hunter like me.”
“If you’re hunting Legion, our enemies are the same.”
“Be careful, Roger,” warned Dr. Morrison. “I’m not sure how stable she is.”
“I’ve seen worse.” Augmentation was a dangerous game. The human mind could only process so much stimulation. Too much information overwhelmed the brain. That was why the government stuck to basics when they designed me. Enhanced performance in all areas, but still human performance. Weapons like Panthera with abilities no human brain was ever meant to handle…those were the ones liable to snap. Hell, that was probably what happened with Legion. Someone tried to create a god and wound up with a monster.
– The Era of the Super Weapons by David Martin
2015’s Twenty Short Story Contest winners assembled in one place. Five stories from each category (Super Powers, Deserted Island, Horror, and Labyrinth), including the top winners of each contest shown below.
The Era of Super Weapons – Roger, America’s super-soldier, embarks on what seemed a routine mission –until his enemies turn to allies against a horde revealing information that will turn the entire world on its head.
Synchronysi – A steampunk masterpiece. After her volunteer operation, a woman awakens to a world made entirely of tine crystals. As she travels the shining island, the product of her surgery reveals much more than she may be able to handle—neither the land of crystals nor the world from which she arrived are exactly what they seem.
Terrors Great and Small – A couple barricades themselves in their home to escape a viral outbreak carried by mosquito bites. As the days of panic and solitude stack up, they battle with both their own crumbling sanity and the terror of what really awaits them beyond their front door.
The Walls Are Alive – in a world where violent offenders are placed in a deadly, automated labyrinth—designed to let no one escape alive—the labyrinth’s caretaker steps inside for a routine maintenance. When the automation turns on him, he’s forced to run the maze like all the criminals he’s sent to their own demise.
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1 print copy of Collective Ramblings: Volume 1
2 ebooks (one of CRV1 and the second is your choice)
AUTHORS Bios and Links:
Just as it says, Collective Ramblings is a collection of various works, an anthology. In 2015, we completed our quarterly writing contests, each with its own theme. For each theme, the five best entries were selected from the contest to have their works published. All twenty stories have been compiled into this book for your reading pleasure. The four contest themes were:
- Super Powers
- Deserted Island
We know everyone will love these imagination-stretching stories, that are filled with suspense, bravery, and danger, as much as we did.