Ow! Stop it, that hurts.
You would think that, blasphemous man, it's only a shot.
Can you hurry it up? I have a meeting with some blah blah executives at noon.
Sure. Say, would you be interested in our new drug?
Eh, what is it for?
It's a brain enhancement drug. You will be the smartest man in the world, Mr Blah-Blah.
Yeah! Sounds fucking great! Eh, what are the side effects though?
None at all! Just sigh right here and we will administer the first dose.
Sure, but shouldn't I go over this with my usual doctor?
No worries,...

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It was becoming night. Quickly, stealthly, Navy SEALS approached a haunting compound. Sand-surrounded, barbed-wire covered; its contents unkown, its inhabitants, suspected. This was do-or-die time. The code "Geronimo" was on everyone's minds. This desert, this foreign country, was their home for the past year. Now they had Presidential orders, "capture or kill," "wanted, dead or alive." It wasn't just read off of an old saloon poster. This was it. With intelligence officials watching, and waiting, the world went about its business, until five hours later, when everyone got word of the actions that occurred inside that haunted-looking building. A terror-leader...

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I am still half dreaming as I open my eyes against the night. The alarm hasn't gone off yet, shaking me awake with its awful, soul grating shriek, and it is not yet morning. I glance at the slime green display on the clock - 2.18am. Not good. Something has disturbed my sleep at this usually, thankfully, unknown hour and I just hope that I can ignore it and drift back down into my rest.

I try, but there is a sound, or some movement, or maybe it's both things, and my eyes are open again even though I wish...

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There's somebody standing in the corner of my room. His hair is dark. He just stands there watching. I call out to him asking his name, but he doesn't reply. He just stares.

A can't take my eyes off of him. I stand there too, staring at him. Our deep eyes meet and a chill flashes down my spine. As I gaze into the windows to his soul, my breathing quickens as does my heart beat. Here we are, two different entities separated only by the distance of a metre or so. I can't describe the deep dread I feel...

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I don't like hotel rooms. I don't like the idea that anyone might have stayed in here before, slept in that bed, used that bathroom, that toilet. I prefer my own place, but that's impossible due to the fact that my boss has seen fit to send me on a course to 'improve my communication skills'. That's a joke. My communication skills are fine, thank you very much. I just don't like talking to him because it sends my blood pressure sky high. But that's beside the point, I'm here, and I'm staying.

I'm staying because I can't leave the...

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"Hey! You! Jackass!"

Geoff was trying to make eye contact -- or, failing that, ear contact -- with the ferris wheel operator below. Geoff and Jo had been stuck at the top of the ride for more than five minutes now. And the effort might not have been so much in vain were they not surrounded by a cage.

No response. Of course.

"Will you knock it off?" asked Jo. "He'll get to it when he gets to it."

"It's just. Gah!" Geoff started rocking the ride. Back and forth, back and forth, the range of motion increasing each time....

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