1. Grocery stores empty slowly as the brands go under, one by one until only the government-issued replacements remain.
2. “So, rent trumps electric,” she tossed the unopened bill over. “You ready to sweet talk the collection reps again?”
3. Barren planets are the worst to survey, normally a bland monochrome of greys or browns. But the dunes and cliffs on this planet are a kaleidoscope of colors and for the first time, she’s sorry to leave after the work is complete.
4. I used to have a heartbeat, now there’s just the bubbling hiss of magic.
5. They try earpieces and helmets on the dragons, but it turns out to be easier to strap their human riders in pods on their backs and use the telepathic link to translate the battle computer’s displays.