802 words (4 minutes)
You start dating a lovely girl who warns you that her job has her on-call 24/7/365 but assures you that they so rarely ever call her in.
534 words (3 minutes)
They recognized something was wrong. Events were not proceeding according to their meticulous script.
For all their precautions—the drugs, the mental conditioning, the trigger phrases—their weapon was increasingly unpredictable. Erratic, even.
So they took her girlfriend.
373 words (2 minutes)
Sure, ICDMs seemed like a great idea at first. Dollistic missiles guided by a poor lonely thing seeking out high population targets to hug? Worked like a charm!
Then the arms race started with anti-dollistic missile systems built to intercept ICDMs with even lonelier dolls.
1765 words (9 minutes)
Aria was not expecting a cadre of imperial soldiers barging into her coffee shop. It had been a long week, and—frankly—being abducted without explanation to be sent into space was the last thing the barista needed.