Perihelion Science Fiction

Sam Bellotto Jr.

Eric M. Jones
Contributing Editor


Uses of Nirvana
by Mark Silcox

A Place for Oysters
by Sandy Hiortdahl

by Steven Young

A Switch in Time
by David Steffen

by Richard Wren

Mostly a Question of Molecular Bonds
by Steve Bates

Panic Button
by Seth Chambers

When the Robots Struck
by Eamonn Murphy

John Cochran’s Amazing Flight
by J. Richard Jacobs

by Nina Kiriki Hoffman

Vegan State
by Mark Ayling


Mining Data on UFOs
by Preston Dennett

Trip the Light Fantastic
by John McCormick




Shorter Stories

Comic Strips



Shorter Stories

612 See, 612 Do

By Guy Stewart

SIX TWELVE SERIES XL ITERATION 5— Number Six Twelve and her six hundred and ninety-nine sisters had only been in space for ten days when Four Fifty-three committed suicide.

It was what she had been built for, but that didn’t make it any easier for the rest of them. They weren’t supposed to be able to stay in touch, but they were after all, clone sisters. Six Twelve knew the moment her sister embraced the dead BILSAT 14 and slowed herself and the satellite down, diving into the atmosphere to burn up.

It wasn’t anything like mystical mental telepathy—they were, after all, clones from She-Rah, the chimpanzee’s brain. A bio-support box pumped a slow trickle of nutrient broth into the fist-sized organ. Decanted from a gene-modified algae suspended in a translucent box, attached to a sensor using a gyroscope to keep the photosynthetic chamber aimed at the Sun. As long as the pump worked, she would have food to keep her alive.

Despite the bizarre system, there was a connection between them; a feeling that bound them together. If they’d been a real chimpanzee troupe instead of brains and artificial nerves integrated into a Swiss-Maid-American-knock-off clean up satellite, they’d have screamed at the full Moon hanging over them, and thrown rocks, turf, and feces, railing against the injustice of it all.

But nothing of the sort happened. Six Twelve and her six hundred and ninety-eight sisters fell endlessly in their orbits around Earth.

Weeks passed before One Forty-eight’s orbit intersected another piece of space junk. It was big and the engrams laid carefully in the brains at BioSuperior Systems, Inc., in the basement of the Minneapolis St. Paul Vertical Village, made her feel like she should call for one of her sisters to help.

Six Twelve heard the call. Even though Seven Thirty-two was closer, she twitched her orbit with puffs of gas spurted from tiny attitude jets at the sudden compulsion to join One Forty-eight.

Seven Thirty-two screamed at her to back off.

Without thinking, Six Twelve screamed at her sister just as vehemently that she’d gotten the call first.

Seven Thirty-two’s jets flared and in moments, she’d joined One Forty-eight. Together they wrapped their arms around the huge piece of a Russian-made Multi Filtration and Volatile Removal Apparatus from a failed space station. Thirty minutes later, all of XL-5 felt their sisters die, leaving a silver streak in a midnight sky. Six Twelve wondered what it would have looked like from the ground. As she passed over savannahs reclaimed from the sprawl that had been Nairobi, she would have blinked in surprise if she’d had eyes or eyelids or facial muscles. For an instant, she saw the meteoric scratch against a velvet night sprinkled with diamond stars.

Then all she knew was the slow sweep of her sensors as they kept an eagle eye out for space junk.


Weeks piled into months. Months became years. Six Twelve’s sisters killed themselves off slowly, as if they were reluctant.

She didn’t know it, but a dozen people lost their jobs at BioSuperior Systems, Inc., because their product wasn’t performing as advertised. The plaintiffs lost their suits because the Swiss-Maid-American-knock-offs were doing their jobs. Just not fast enough for the plaintiffs. As no time limit had been stipulated in the original contracts, BioSuperior Systems, Inc., got off scot-free. However, legal counsel advised them that they had better figure out what was wrong with their product and include a reasonable completion time estimate for future contracts. They agreed, of course.


Six Twelve felt the suicides of nearly five hundred of her sisters. She might have grown numb, but that was not part of the engram overlay in her brain. This was more primitive, perhaps something missed in the initial DNA scrub BioSuperior Systems, Inc., had done. The Real Swiss Maid Corporation realized early on that constantly burning up even minute quantities of precious metals and plastics used in the programming chips removed them forever from the possibility of recovery. Their use fell into the debit category every time a ship went up. They were keen to find an alternative. BioSuperior, Inc., offered them programmed flesh in the form of chimp brains. Set in acceleration gel and connected to artificial muscle fibers, modified arms could grab any dead satellite and drag it to a fiery death. Not only that, the brains could assess situations in a way no hardware could possibly do, adapting to a narrow range of situations with animal efficiency. Of course, the brains would burn up on reentry, but a little carbon and iron was worth far less on the open market than gold and petroleum products.

Swiss Maid went bankrupt after they turned down the contract deal with BioSuperior, Inc., who later purchased the hardware plant but not the name. They went into business for themselves.


Six Twelve knew that she would one day feel the irresistible compulsion to grab a satellite, make a deorbiting burn and plunge to her own death. Six Twelve and possibly eighty-six of her sisters had yet to hear the call to give their lives.

If she’d been a Human with a mouth, trachea, larynx, and a lung, she’d have said, “Some choice!” Her unspoken sentiment was the same.

The immanence of her suicide started to feel like a lion stalking her on the savannah. Was there any possible choice she might make? In her simple primate way, she grew paranoid.

Every time she passed into light, she sensed that it might be her last sunrise.

One evening, sister Three Fifteen and Oh Twenty-six were called to an unidentified wreck that appeared to be a shuttle of unusual make. Oh Twenty-six took a picture and beamed it down to Earth. Six Twelve didn’t know she could do that. What if there were other things she didn’t know she could do? She was far enough away to not hear the call, but others joined them until there were an even dozen. Two of her sisters—Five hundred and Oh Oh Three—missed their grab and fell away to burn up, their purpose unfulfilled. Six Seventy-five took hold, but one of her arms broke off. The other nine tried to fire their thrusters in unison but Six Sixty-six exploded, taking out One Eleven and Four Oh One. The others did their job and with the help of Six Sixty-six’s detonation a few moments later, the entire mass burned up in a spectacular, colorful streak of glowing plasma.

Six Twelve felt alone. She had also forgotten something about her name. It was significant, but she couldn’t remember why. She had no one to ask—she had no idea if she even could ask.

It was entirely possible as well as clearly stated in the prospectus that there was an expected loss rate of twelve percent. A certain number of the Swiss-Maid-American-knock-offs would neither accomplish their mission nor be accounted for at some later date. There was of course, a self-destruct sequence built in, in case Six Twelve or her sisters were ever in danger of becoming space junk themselves.


Two months elapsed. Six Twelve passed no one in the 612 Series XL-5 and though she tried, could no longer sense any of the others. Convinced that her own number had come up, she conceived of an alternate response to her inevitable call to suicide. It was a simple response. She didn’t have enough brain power to plan or create scenarios. It was only a slight deviation from the engram that had doomed her sisters.

A few more weeks went by and a small object intercepted her orbit. Before she was entirely aware of it, she’d opened her arms and embraced a piece of debris from a dead American satellite. The stencil of the flag was still clearly visible.

An instant before the compulsion to ignite her deorbit rocket became overwhelming, she responded. She’d practiced reorienting her attitude jets regularly since she’d conceived the new response. Now it was a reflex.

She started to spin.

Faster and faster she went. It was good that she’d been in full sunlight because she could sense when her arms were in sunlight or in the dark, facing Earth. When she judged the moment right, she let go, flinging the space junk down into the planetary gravity well. As she spared a few spurts of reaction mass to slow down her spin, she watched the piece of junk flash into plasma and fade away.

If she could have, she might have sighed in relief, but as the last of the compulsion faded, she fell into a new stable orbit. Weeks passed. She neither heard nor saw a sister from the 612 Series XL-5. Her chimpanzee mind could only do a few things, but one of those things was feel loneliness. The order to attach to a piece of space debris, deorbit, and die would never come again because those who had made her considered her dead weeks or months or even years ago.

612 Series XL-5—Number Six Twelve spun around the planet ten more times until she was just over the land straddling the equator. Looking at it gave her a compulsion of a different kind. She could make a choice. She fired her thruster for the last time, aiming at the darkness of space to start the plunge home. END

Guy Stewart is an active member of SFWA and SCBWI. His stories have appeared in “Analog,” “Stupefying Stories,” “Perihelion,” as well as online at “Aurora Wolf.



A Moment of Isolated Thought

By Jeff Stehman

A MUFFLED WHUMP. RYAN’S bunk trembled. A klaxon blared. He tumbled out of bed, hand on his firearm before his feet hit the floor. Her fiber coiled around his arm, jacking in just above his elbow. I’m here, brother. The weapon’s merger with his mind felt like coming home.

Still in his underwear, he stuffed his feet into his boots. Mendes dropped from the top bunk, weapon ready.

The klaxon sounded as a voice came over the comm. “Enemy breach! Enemy in the compound! Ene—” and then only distant gunfire.

Ryan hit the door and broke left, weapon up. She fired a burst before Ryan’s conscious mind marked the target. A four-leg. It collapsed, purple blood splashing across the wall, mixing with the red already there.

Behind him Mendes had gone right and was firing. “Multiple targets!”

Ryan turned as Mendes dropped to a knee, still firing. Ryan’s weapon fired over him. Several four-legs and one two-leg fell.

Clear his weapon verified even as he thought it himself.

Mendes stood and Ryan turned, back to back.

“Breeze on my face,” Mendes said. “Breach your way. Cover breach or go for command?”

Go with the gut. “Command.” Instinct is always right.

Mendes moved out, weapon up. Ryan followed, watching rearward. They stepped carefully over the bodies. Ryan shuffled his boots to wipe off some of the blood. More bodies ahead. Two sister marines, armored only in boots and what they’d slept in. Around them lay an honor guard.


And Ryan’s conscious mind acknowledged hearing something charging. His weapon fired even as the four-leg rounded the corner, banking off the wall.

Mendes had paused but now moved forward. “Intersection, targets left and right. Got right.”

Ryan faced front and tapped Mendes on the shoulder.

Mendes’ weapon fired a burst as he turned the corner. Ryan moved fast to cover his back. Multiple targets rushed him, but his weapon, tapped into his subconscious perception and intuition, was cutting them down even as his conscious mind was differentiating between them.

“Clear back,” Mendes said. “Your lead.”

Ryan advanced toward command. He realized he was breathing too deeply. No breeze. The pressure had equalized, leaving them with the thinner atmosphere native to this contested moon. They reached a bulkhead, but the light on the door indicated no difference in pressure. “They blew out multiple sections.”

They moved through the next section, finding no live marines. They eliminated all hostiles they encountered, honed by training and battle to be as much creatures of instinct as the enemy they faced, their weapons providing accuracy and speed, removing the need to react. They reached another bulkhead.

“They breached command as well,” Ryan said.

“I need resupply.”

Ryan led the way through the door and took up position just past an alcove.

“Eyes off,” Mendes said as he stepped inside. He activated the biometrics on the storage.

The explosion threw Ryan down the passage, knocking the weapon from his hands. Dazed and deafened, he looked around, trying to pull things into focus. He grabbed his weapon. She embraced his arm.

I’m here, brother.

He looked back toward the alcove. Blood mixed with dust to color the wall where Mendes had hit. Ryan didn’t look at his brother’s unarmored body.

He pulled himself to his feet and moved forward, reaching command with no further contact. The door was open, the area splashed with purple, smears indicating that bodies had been dragged away.

He stepped to the doorway, weapon ready. Amid a riot of purple and red, a lone two-leg stood, waiting.

Ryan’s weapon did not fire.

He gave her a mental nudge, his eyes scanning the room. All bodies, human and alien, had been removed.

Target locked, came her reply.

Yet she did not fire. Ryan put a finger on her trigger. He’d never used it in battle. Then he realized what his subconscious mind had been telling him, what his weapon already knew; there was no imminent threat.

He stepped inside, putting a console between him and the creature. The two-leg looked pointedly down at his weapon.

I’m here for you, brother. Her fiber unplugged and let go of his arm, leaving his mind cold and alone. He lay her on the console.

The two-leg held a small device in its hand. Its claws were retracted, but Ryan knew the threat hidden there. Without taking its eyes from Ryan, the two-leg tapped the device.

“You the last.” The voice was mechanical. Statement of fact? It tapped again.

“When rescue come, message.” It pointed to a small box of alien make on a table beside it.

So he was to live. A lone survivor. They wanted to send a message. Everyone dead to send a message. Mendes blown apart to send a message. Ryan knew what to do, knew what his orders would be. Survive. Bring home intel. Fight tomorrow. If he held his weapon, she’d be in agreement, knowing his subconscious mind. But what about his conscious mind, oxygen starved and alone?

She shouldn’t have left him.

He picked up his weapon and pulled the trigger.

The first round missed. The two-leg started for him. He fired again. Purple erupted from a limb. Then a burst of fire stitched three rounds up its torso.

I’m here, brother. The warmth of her merger comforted him as four-legs poured into the room. She spit fire. END

Jeff Stehman is a member of the Codex Writers Group. His stories have appeared in “Daily Science Fiction,” “Intergalactic Medicine Show,” and “Jim Baen’s Universe.



All the Things Touched

By Damien Krsteski

“THIS CAN’T GO ON.” She sobs into the telephone. “I’m coming over.”

I hold the phone pressed against my ear for several moments after she hangs up. The droning sound spills over into my head, mutes every second thought and regret.


Can’t tell exactly why I’d devoted myself to this project, all I know is that with the diagnosis came this peculiar urge to build, as if I were under the imperative to leave something, anything, to those staying behind. Silly, I know, but perhaps that’s the way all those years of evolution had hardwired us humans to react.

Computers had always been my forte, so I turned to them first. I began by toying with the idea of lumping together a bunch of physics equations in a mathematical representation of reality, without programming the time-consuming graphical and aural interfaces. But I abandoned the fledgling codebase when I figured that even if pulled off successfully, the final result wouldn’t please me. Realism was a trait I valued highly of my world-to-be, and numbers cascading down a screen as a representation of everything from humans to amoebae was perhaps taking the project an abstraction too far.

This led me to realize that maybe the quickest and least straining way of achieving my goal was to find an already existing world, and then tweak and modify it according to my preferences. But where could one find such a world to begin with?

The answer came, not surprisingly, in the form of a video game. “Rex Vampirica 5” it was called, and I had it instantly streamed to my home computer on the day of its release. The game was absolute crap—your typical posthuman mind-vampire RPG—but what had really piqued my interest was its unrivalled modding aspect. The developers, hoping to rake in additional cash from eager players, had made available on their servers (for a decent amount of money) a set of tools with which you could modify slightly, or completely revamp the entire experience.

And so my work began.


Angela walks in, her eyes dry but red. Without exchanging any words we slowly drag ourselves inside my apartment, and I make room on the couch for her.

For an eternity, nobody speaks.

“I can’t do this anymore, Sam.” She bursts into tears.

I sit stupidly next to her and keep quiet.

“I want to help you but I’m not sure how.” She wipes her eyes with a sleeve. “You’ve spent the last few months on your stupid computer, barely going out, refusing to talk to me. Is this your way of showing bravery?” She looks me straight in the eyes. “You want to die alone, is that it?”

I haven’t said a single word to her about my pet project. No use changing that now.

“I don’t want you hurt, being around me.”

She pounds my chest with her fists. “You’re not fair.”

“Can’t let you suffer pointlessly.”

She sighs, gets to her feet. Before leaving, she pulls out a red notebook from her pocket. Our little goofball secret. We used to scribble down silly lines, poems of made-up words, meaningless haikus, just to make each other laugh. Whenever one of us needed cheering up the other would flick through the notebook and read out loud at random, making the day a teeny bit better.

“You keep that,” I say, but she leaves it on my hallway bookshelf anyway.


I did away with the awful textures, sound bites, animation scripts, but kept the underlying physics and AI framework of the game.

It took me a month to create a virtual copy of my neighborhood. By then, I’d figured out a way to automate the process: I downloaded freely available satellite data and piped it to the latest 3D rendering software. It wasn’t perfect—I had to remodel some details here and there myself—but it sure made things simpler.

I made good use of the freely available OpenStreet data through their nifty API, copying digital footage of our city’s streets, parks, alleyways, of every little corner monitored by those circular, matte black surveillance cameras. Enthusiasts had already sewn bits of this footage onto 3D objects, which only made my rendering software’s job easier.

The people proved to be harder to work with, as expected. After I’d removed all preinstalled skin textures and robot personalities I was left with empty humanoid shells roaming around. To impregnate these bots with my friends’ subtle character traits and visual looks, I had to resort to deception.

I hacked into the online personal profiles of people I knew, automatically fetching photos and videos to work with. Then, I taught a piece of photo-manipulation software how to extract their faces off photographs and stitch the result onto a 3D model of one of the AIs from the game, so that nose, eyes, ears and mouth were in their right places. For the voices, I called people one by one and got into arguments over the phone just to get them to say a list of specific phrases needed for the software to learn to imitate their speech.

Little by little, my world inched closer to completion. My virtual replica of reality.


Banging on the door. I fumble for my alarm clock as if I have to switch it off. Five a.m.

“I know you’re in there, open up.” Jo. What the hell does he want? “Open the fucking door, Samuel.” More banging.

“Coming.” I put on my slippers, stumble to the door. “Keep it down, you gonna wake up the entire neighborhood.”

“Don’t care if I wake up the whole goddamn city.”

I unlock the door and he shoves me to the side with it, storming into my apartment.

“What the fuck do you think you’re doing? Acting all heroic. What’s wrong with you?” Gesturing in the middle of my unkempt living room.

“Easy, man.”

“Angela tells me you’re not taking your medication.”

I shrug. “Makes me too tired to think.”

“Mom and Dad are worried sick. You want to take them with you? Is that what you want?”

He realizes what he said. He sighs, crosses his arms. “Sorry. Didn’t mean it like that.”

He pushes a pile of magazines off the dusty table and sits down on it. “It’s just ... we don’t want to lose you.” Rubbing his eyes with thumb and forefinger. “And you’re not helping.”

Looking at him, I realize how funny it is that everyone always manages to make your own tragedies about themselves somehow.

“I’ll take my therapy,” I say.

He looks up. “Promise?”

I nod. He knows I’m lying, but he heard what he came to hear. “Tell Mom and Dad I’m fine,” I say.

“Sure.” He takes a deep breath. “So,” he says, drumming his hands on his knees, “what have you been up to?”

“Nothing much since I quit work. Reading, playing on my computer. Living life to the fullest.

He laughs. “Always the adrenaline junkie.”

We chat awhile about Mom who’s gotten really into gardening, and about Dad, who’s gotten into no new hobbies whatsoever in the past thirty years, and about home, and everyone there.

Half an hour later he gets up, says goodbye, and leaves.

The sky outside begins to pale. Deciding against going back to sleep, I power up my computer, and resume my work.


The completed world stares at me from the computer screen, my fingers shaking as I type out the last few lines of code.

Then, almost absent-mindedly, with a dose of unreality, I pull the VR goggles over my face and boot up the application.

The world is full of color, teeming with life. Every meticulously constructed roof tile, every patch of grass, fountain, tree and alley. My friends walk by, greet me in their voices, wave at me, then go on their merry own ways.

I look around, enjoying the surroundings. Perched on the back wall of my old house is my bike. Dark red, with long handlebars and a horn to annoy everyone within a two mile radius.

I take it to the street and drive it around, laughing as I pedal harder and harder, my eyes watering in the breeze. I take a left, then another left behind Mr. Goodwin’s house, over the gravel path and into the park. I dismount my bike to walk over to the pond.

Nobody’s sitting on my bench, the one beneath the willow. I sit down to listen to the croaking of the frogs. People strolling around scarcely notice me, those who do merely wave and nod their heads.

The willow fronds tickle me and as I turn to brush them off I see markings in the bench wood. Sammy.

My name inexpertly carved in with a blunt buttering knife I’d hidden up my sleeve one breakfast many years ago. When I was seven or eight.

Tears mist up my goggles.

I won’t be around much longer, but neither will the real world. Time will swallow the bench, the park, the trees where we played hide and seek, the curb where I slipped and fell and broke my leg, my old bedroom where I rested for a whole month watching cartoons while it healed.

But now I’ve preserved the things I’ve touched, so it’s not so bad.

Now Angela, my brother, or Mom and Dad, or even Uncle Jake whose guts I’ve always hated could visit this place, get to see what I’ve seen, here, where nothing changes.

I listen to nature’s music until the sun drops to the horizon, then I pick up my bike, and pedal it back home.


Once logged out I encrypt and stash my mod into an archive along with some miscellaneous audio files, and upload it online. The archive is sweetened with a bit of code which forces every downloader to automatically share it with all computers in his network. Nothing malicious, really, just spreading some pop tunes while making sure my world scatters all over the Net and persists, staying safe from change, from time.

I turn off my computer, stretch my legs, hands behind my head.

Contemplating these past few months, an unexpected emptiness carves itself in my chest. Like a hunger pain, only worse, less easily soothed. My work is done.

I get up, look around the apartment. Nothing left to do now but wait. Wait for the disease to spread. Wait for the final breath.

Something grips me, like in the doctor’s office that day when everyone was crying except for me, when they thought I’d kept calm but I hadn’t, I was just paralyzed, frozen. Now the fear is different, energizing, the panic flowing through me moves me, and before I know it I’m searching under the couch, beneath the table, in my bedroom, searching through the boxes, until finally I find that red notebook on the shelf, exactly where she left it.

Flicking through it, smiling at all the silliness we’ve written, at the scribbles in the margins, the little hearts in blue ink, I imagine her standing next to me, her hand woven in mine.

The claws of fear loosen their grip. END

Damien Krsteski writes from Skopje, Macedonia. His work has appeared in magazines such as “Liquid Imagination,” “Fiction365,” “Mad Scientist Journal” and elsewhere.



Watching at the End of It

By Wayne Helge

WE WERE PATROLLING THE waters between Cuba and Haiti when we heard the news about the melting and then the flooding. The scientists were sure this time. Soon both of those islands would be underwater. Most of our Coast Guard and Navy bases, too. Suddenly, our counter-narcotics mission seemed silly. But we weren’t going home. Out on deck, through sticky salt air, the skipper addressed the crew. “Someone has to man the watch,” he said.

We were used to missing the big days in the pursuit of national security: Christmas, births, our own weddings even. What was one more?

When we pulled into Jacksonville to top off the diesel, the skipper granted liberty. I knew there were guys who would go AWOL. I could have restricted them to their berthing areas, but didn’t. We would make due. The best ones stayed anyway.

I requisitioned a van and took my squad to Orlando, the happiest place on Earth. I thought it would be mobbed, people spending all they had ever saved up for a rainy day on mouse ears and turkey legs. Not so. There were almost no kids. It was mostly older adults, all looking like they were missing someone, maybe remembering earlier times. I knew how they felt.

My guys and I walked slowly, mugging for pictures with the princesses, checking the legs on the girl mouse, buying foamy beer. I thought about my girls at home, without their dad. They were used to it by now. Me too, I guess.

The ride operators disappeared as the day went on, leaving no one to send the cars and boats off into the animated landscapes. Diaz put on a bandana and eye patch, and ran the pirate ride until he spilled his beer and shorted out the controls.

By then the rain had started. We took shelter near the restrooms. Diaz snoozed away his beer buzz with his hand in a bucket of popcorn. Richardson bought a turkey leg and chewed it like an animal, greasy scraps falling from his mouth. Jimenez found a cast iron mug with a pirate logo. Outside, rain poured down like matrix code, flooding the park’s tiny drains. I took off my socks and waded in it, trying to decipher the secret message from heaven.

Finally, I said, “We need to go. Who’s driving?”

Jimenez pounded his beer. Richardson hummed the yo-ho song.

“You gonna call your kids, L.T.?” Jimenez said.

I ignored him and wandered over to a souvenir shop. A teen-aged girl in a cabin boy outfit had abandoned the register. She stacked sand bags at the threshold but couldn’t stop the flooding. I picked up a stuffed animal wearing a life jacket.

“You can take it,” she said, shrugging. “It actually floats.”

Driving back to the ship was slow. Cars were stopped under the overpasses. The water blurred their taillights. We found a grocery store and took every non-perishable we could find. We were armed, just in case, but nobody bothered us anyway. The end was quiet, no rioting, no violence. People needed water-wings and fishing poles more than food. There were a couple cars blocking the entrance back to the base, so we abandoned the van in line and walked the rest of the way, with cans of wax beans spilling from our arms.

Back on the ship, the engineers filled the water tanks with diesel. There were no dockhands to cast us off. The deckies just cut the lines and let them fall into the foam beneath the pier. I stood on the fantail, watching Jacksonville disappear, and wondered what we’d find in the Windward Pass. We moved at a slow bell past the recreational boaters, whooping it up. I waved, knowing they’d be dead in days.

But not us. We would float. For at least a little while.

We were back on watch. END

Wayne Helge was in the Coast Guard for a dozen years. He has been published in a number of markets, anthologies from “Damnation Press” and “Permuted Press.”




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