1. The police might be starting to dabble in true detective work, but like children learning to cook they are as likely to ruin the crime scene as not. Any other time she’d let them be, but this was her lab, her masterwork stolen, and she had no time to suffer fools.
2. Light-years ahead of our retreat the robots are dismantling what’s left of our planetary defenses… to scavenge us a home to return to.
3. They shut the airport down in the face of the storm, but he’s already at the gate and it’s too late to find a hotel. He finds himself adrift in a crowd of lost travelers looking for food and a comfortable chair.
4. “Maybe sixteen’s not old enough to know better, but it’s damned sure old enough to be ashamed of yourself.”
5. Tiny clockwork dragons infest the shop, harassing customers and stealing bites from the metalwork.