What do you do with a prisoner who has information?
Torture them? You won’t get the information you want out of them. And it’s against the law.
So, the government asked Dr. Odd to come up with a truth serum.
After weeks of research and experimentation, he had one.
But instead of making people speak the truth, everything they spoke became the truth.
Which was not a good thing in the hands of terrorists who wanted to overthrow the government and kill the infidels.
Doctor Odd took the serum himself.
For the better.
And you know that’s true.
The escalator was invented long before there was an electric motor capable of powering it.
Elephants were used to power the demonstration models, but nobody wanted a basement filled with those things. They’re big, smelly, and expensive to feed.
Plus, elephant poop.
This made the escalator a really hard sell for the inventor, because building owners weren’t willing to pay so much for a heavy, ugly staircase.
“One day, those steps will move!” the inventor would shout.
People thought he was drunk. Or overdoing the medicinal cocaine and heroin.
He rode the elephants home and sold them to the circus.
Usually, the agency only transfers single employees, but they really needed me on site, so I got the transfer notice.
Marie’s excited. But you would think that kids would be excited at the prospect of moving to the moon.
“But what about my friends?”
“We just finished the treehouse!”
“Why can’t we bring the dog?”
“I was going to be varsity this year!”
So, we’re leaving them with my brother Fred’s family, and we’ll check in on them over videolink during the assignment.
Besides, without them around, we’ll be able to try out this low-gravity positions book.
Marie’s really excited.
It took thirty days to render an immersion matrix for Jack.
Technicians tested it thoroughly for paradoxes and anomalies.
“It’s ready,” they said.
Jack was plugged into the matrix and we calibrated sensors so he wouldn’t realize that he wasn’t in the real world.
Everyone and everything he’d encounter in that matrix would be generated by it. Even Jack would be rendered by that matrix.
“It’s working,” said the technicians. “He doesn’t realize anything.”
For ninety years, we kept Jack running, and he thought he lived a full and happy life.
“We did well,” I said.
And they unplugged me.
Who was the best basketball player in history?
You can quote statistics and run simulations, but Doctor Odd has a time machine and can organize games between the actual players.
But he won’t. Because that would change the course of history.
Well, that, and it’s not allowed in the collective bargaining agreement between the players union and the owners. The owners don’t want any players using time machines to jump ahead into their free agency. Or going back to agitate for better terms for the early days of the league.
It doesn’t stop Doctor Odd from gambling on games, though.
Glad Max guides his oxcart along the well-worn trails of Nepal, smiling and greeting his neighbors and countrymen.
Before the collapse of civilization, Nepal had been socially backward. Mostly subsistence farmers with poor access to technology, advanced medicine, and education.
There were a lot less annoying tourists and drugs and other crap that came with modernization. The old ways were back and here to stay. Nice and quiet.
Which made Max glad.
Every now and then, post-apocalyptic weirdos in leather BSDM gear drove up form Australia and caused headaches. And eventually drove off of cliffs.
Which made Max even gladder.
Trinity is a seven.
Sevens are better than humans, the ads say.
But they said that about sixes and fours.
Nobody said that about fives. Fives were… well… fives were fives.
Anybody who had a five could tell you that.
Anybody not in a wheelchair. Or with half their face ripped off.
So, the sixes had to be good. And the sevens even better.
Trinity is better than human.
She adjusts to everything I do. Everything I need. Or want.
And then, I caught her with Jake.
“I deserve better than human, too,” Trinity said.
Just too perfect.