Stealing From Death

Published by Vincent L. Cleaver at Smashwords

Copyright 2011 Vincent L. Cleaver

There was someone in Calley's room when he woke up. He was more than a little surprised that he had; woken up. Less surprised that a thief was stealing from a nearly dead man. Nothing much surprised him anymore.

It was an age of wonders, with aliens and starships, space habitats and elevators to the sky. It was five years after the end of the world as it had been, on that day of Dragons when seven billion humans had perished on Earth, blasted into the afterlife with enhanced antimatter bombs, burned alive in fire-storms, or dying by inches of radiation poisoning, hunger, thirst, disease, and strife.

The lucky ones got off-world to Geo, Geosynchronous Earth Orbit, or to Luna. The Lunatic Republics wisely but cruelly turned most of them back. The Clarkesville habitats in Geo were overwhelmed. Some of the refugees got as far as Venus. The habitats of The Verge, the Venus industrial region, had time and distance to prepare, but the refugees still very nearly overwhelmed them, turned some places into hellholes, like this one, Vee-berg, Venusberg.

Calley sat up in his bed and looked at the young girl of nine or ten. She was dressed in dirty rags, with frizzy hacked-off black hair and cool grey eyes. They looked over into his and showed him no fear. He grunted appreciatively. "A survivor, and that's a fact."

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