Escape From Cordis

Greetings, lovely internet folk. Sorry it’s been a while- my discipline as a writer is still under development. And I’ve been working on back-end things for the site as well as other behind-the-scenes work here at Verbal Realms. Anyhow, the following is for your enjoyment and perhaps your edification:

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Ben Dulgoon woke slowly- stretching his arms above him and lowering them a few times before opening his eyes. The ceiling panels in his cell and in the hall were slowly flickering to life. Part of the flicker was the lights coming online one at a time, while part was provided by the shimmer of the transparent door. The doors weren’t force fields (too expensive to waste on prisoners), but they did carry a current and a decent punch if you ran into them on accident. He stood up slowly and relieved himself in the toilet by the corner. A few stray flecks hit the sides, and a small, wiry bot hurried out of a narrow panel in the wall and proceeded to sanitize the area vigorously. Ben hated those things.

It had been five years- give or take- since he had been interned at Cordis Detention Center. That was before war had broken out, or at least before the Confederation had recognized it as such. The Confederation had a long history of pretending things were different than they were, as far as Ben was concerned. He thought back to his home, to Gemini II. The moon and its twin had been terraformed centuries past into rich, tropical biomes which were excellently suited for year-round, small-scale farming and harvesting.

The dream behind the Gemini project had been far more optimistic than that of Beatrah Major. Beatrah had undergone minimal modifications due to its habitable atmosphere and ozone and, even more importantly, the ready accessibility of mineral resources. The Confederation had designated it as an industrial moon with a focus on shipbuilding. However, by the time Ben’s grandparents had been born, the Confederation had essentially crumbled due to infighting among the core worlds. A few well-placed fission explosions were all it took to wipe out the Council, Commissioners, and anyone who cared about what happened on the latest, now-forgotten colonization projects. And yet, leaders in Beatrah saw themselves as the Confederation in this system and purported to be the continuation of lawful governance.

    What a farce, thought Ben.

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The Things We Forget

Hullo all!

Jack here with my first short story for this wonderful site. I am looking forward to contributing as I am able and to helping Matt and Sorin get things up and running. We are now on Reddit! (VerbalRealms) Read and enjoy!

(P.S. Site email is incoming, so you will soon be able to email in your comments, suggestions, fan fiction, love/hate mail, tribute songs, artwork, cosplay, conspiracy theories, cookie dough recipes, and captioned cat photos!)


The sunshine and clear sky Ed could see through the driver-side window of his old pickup felt jarring as he drove up the well-worn path to the farmhouse. Funerals are supposed to be overcast. Bill and Jessica were riding with him today, and Ed mused that it was probably the first time his kids had ridden in the truck with him in at least twenty years. They rolled to a stop, and he jammed the parking brake back. It took a few tries to stick, but that didn’t worry Ed. It was old and rusted- not much different than he was. Bill opened his door and ran around the hood. “Can I give you a hand, dad?” Ed waved him off and hauled himself down. Being an old widower doesn’t make me an invalid, d***it.

Continue reading The Things We Forget