Harry Potter and the Midlife Crisis.


"I was supposed to be the greatest wizard of all time! I have very epic and heroic past. And look at me now! Managing a mediocre cauldron store in Diagon Alley? Come on! I refuse to accept that I've peaked at 17 years old!"

"Well, wasn't this kind of predictable, Harry?" asked Ginny in a slightly annoyed voice. "Your main virtue was always courage, not intelligence or entrepreneurship or cunning. There's a reason you went to the Gryffindor. And courage is pretty useless in peaceful times."

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Maya


The only thing that I have ever knew was void. You could say that it surrounded me forever since there was no time before I created it. At first all I was was awareness, just the sense of conciousness with nothing else. Gradually, I started to think thoughts in the midst of this void. I've made up time and space. And once I was thinking in this emptiness I got horribly bored. So I've turned my thoughts into figures and images. I've imagined light, which turned into stars and galaxies and later - planets. And thus Maya was born.

On one of the planets I have created animals and humans, just in one whim of my desire. I could simulate the whole history of this universe starting with the Big Bang, but I didn't bother, waiting for billions of years would be too boring, besides the time was made up anyway, so I've just skipped right to the interesting part - the year 1983, the moment my imagined humans invented the internet, and started their race towards singularity.

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Chapter 2

Not published

It was happy Sunday afternoon. I was hanging with my three buddies in our usual spot when, suddenly, we were all picked up and dropped. I hit my head after the fall and that was the last thing I remembered before I woke up to pitch-blackness.

I groaned. “Hello? Anyone here?”

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Shit.


Shit. Wait, wait, wait! No, don’t shit! Not here!

I clenched my teeth as the waves of pain continued. I looked around me and frantically analyzed the situation. I was standing in a crowded bus, an hour from home, with my stomach threatening to unleash a flurry of public humiliation that would haunt my life for eternity.

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An Unexpected Discovery


“Jesus Christ, Frank, could you watch where you’re going, please?” I scolded, annoyed at the frequent prodding on my back. “That security line gives you at least a couple meters, no need to stab me in the back every few seconds. Tethered to a frickin’ idiot.” I muttered to myself, forgetting volume doesn’t translate through the our comlink. “I know I am. And sorry,” Frank muttered, nonchalant as ever. His head hovered low over his palm, reading a timer that ticked and beeped relentlessly. In his other hand he shielded the red dust from blocking his view. Protruding from the stomach of his suit was a long metal rod, at the end of it a cord that connected to me. So we wouldn’t lose each other out here. “Soon the storm will be settled enough that we can see more than a few meters ahead of us.” “Thank God. When?” “Several minutes, give or take. Maximum distance we’ll be able to see will probably be… Roughly twenty meters or so. Don’t get your hopes up. Are we still on the right track?” He inquired, unconsc

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Domo Arigato


ACT I

Gregory awoke in a large room, tied to a chair. At least, he guessed it was a large room, and that it was a chair. Gregory couldn't actually see anything - as best as he could tell, he was blindfolded. He tried moving around, only to be rewarded by the chair tipping over.

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The Halls of Extinction


Doctor Alex von Strikken, PhD, was one of the most well-respected scientists in the small and well-respected field of genetic engineering. He had begun his career in the relatively looked-down upon area of genetic tailoring, customizing people's children for them as they grew in the womb, but quickly moved out of that distasteful area. Since then Dr. Strikken had been working in the government-run Species Revitalization Project, aka the Halls of Creation. He had been hired just in time to help put the finishing touches on the mammoth, and since then had assisted in recreating the dodo and the Tasmanian tiger. For the past three years, Strikken had been part of Project Tyrant, the attempt to rebuild dinosaurs, so far unsuccessful but coming close to what was hoped to be a viable triceratops egg.

Dr. Strikken was known as having a gift for seeing ramifications, able to foresee with startling accuracy how genes interacted. Many laypeople assumed that genetic engineering was like using building blocks - just s

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The God Machine


Chris stared up at the enormous machine, towering over his head. It was a vast cube, a mile to a side, and constantly toiled, even when it had no assigned task. Gears could always be heard whirring within it, and smoke perpetually billowed from the gaping spouts that spotted its sides. No one knew how it worked (and not for lack of trying to figure it out), but the machine powered the entire planet. Coils of cable stretched for miles and miles and fought for a spot on the machine. No matter how far and no matter what they were connected to, the machine powered it all.

But that wasn't everything the machine did. Rumors said that it could do anything, that the Engineers who operated its obscure machinery knew how to turn its power to control the weather or transmute lead into gold. Legends said that in years past the machine had called down rain to fertilize the deserts, that the oceans had been turned into pure water without harming their inhabitants. Legends said that it could be turned to war as well, tha

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Working with Myself


It all began on a normal, quiet morning as I sat in my favorite armchair, ruminating on my favorite subject - time travel. I myself was only a humble electrical engineer, far from the lofty heights of theoretical physics where time travel could be found, but I understood the basics. Teleportation was well understood, and had been around for over twenty years - I myself had built a teleportation gate during my time in college. In theory, time travel would work on the same principles, but rather than just displacing the target in three dimensions, it would displace the target in four –– the three spacial dimensions of height, width, and depth, and the fourth dimension of time.

Of course, the difficulty in building a time machine lay not in understanding the principles, but in applying them. To build a time machine would require crafting in three dimensions a machine that operated in four. So although many had tried to build a time machine that worked, no one had succeeded.

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Within a Glass Sphere


"Dr. Gammet, the data from the Hubble Telescope is finished downloading - I have it here."

"Thank you, Higgins." Frank Gammet took the flash drive that the young intern offered him in a long-fingered hand, and turned to insert it into his computer. "Isn't this exciting, John?" he said to the screen. "Finally, images from the very beginning of the universe itself!"

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Pencil.


“Hey, do you have a pencil I can borrow?” My classmate Bob, sitting next to me, asks.

My stomach lurches at the question. I freeze in my seat, perfectly still. Maybe I could pretend I didn’t hear his question, and he’ll just ask someone else.

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