Tell A Tale in 500 Words

The Evil That Kids Do By Tim Roberts

A girl, who I've never met before, suggests that we should boost 3 late model Shards. We're on the canteen deck and she's watching me etch my name into some plexiglass.



"Nothing flusters space-time like a precision built pyramid,” she whispers into my ear. She's not wrong. The universe doesn't think too good at speed unless it's in terms of ellipses and spheres.



“Why would I want to do that?” I ask her.



“You don’t want to spend your whole life walking around on titanium, do you?” She flicks a few wiry black curls of hair from her face and stamps a gravity boot against the deck tiles.



Before I can answer, she brings up a marketing video on her wrist-screen. A talking head explains that the Shard A750 is the best way to generate your own macro-laws of physics, should you need to travel several light years within a lifetime. Nobody really knows how they work, we have to trust the computers that design and build them. Each year the accuracy is improved by the width of a few quarks and new digit is shoehorned onto the end of the name, but overall it's the same beast -- a shiny black pyramid.



"Of course, getting hold of some kit that has a market value of 20 times the average salary isn't going to be easy,” she says.



“But not impossible,” I say, putting my vandalism on hold.



“I can keep the guards at the dealership busy whilst you sneak in and fire one up.”



I take this opportunity to add my own demands. “We’d need Dreamcasts. It's a long journey and you can go batshit crazy with all of that hibernation.”



She agrees and tells me she knows a skinny kid called Jeb whose dad works on on the University Deck. Jeb has access to every Dreamcast ever created and she figures that I can muscle him into getting a few copies.”



There are two things I haven't asked her at this point.



"Where would we go?"



"I figured we could go back to where our ancestors were born."



I shake my head. "This is why I skip Professor Kip's lessons. He’s always telling those stories about Earth. There's no such a thing."



"Well, we could go see."



"I suppose we could." I say. "One other thing. Why did you ask me?"



"Because your the sort of kid that has a reputation for doing stupid shit like this. Aren't you always getting in trouble?"



For a second I consider taking offence. I back off when I see the way she smiles at me.



"I suppose I am,” I say as I watch her finish my off my handiwork by gouging a deep line underneath the letters of my name.


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