1. Computers were in control during the vast emptiness between stars, where things were distractingly boring. Humans could play at piloting when they’d dropped back to sublight, but the AIs were always watching.
2. Her horses have become accustomed to the cars as they near the city and barely flinch at the belches and bellows of steam as they churn by.
3. Light spring breezes follow them along the footpath as they trace the stream back towards the waterfall. Local legends say demons hide in the narrow caves behind the curtain of water, but the sun is bright, the forest is flourishing, and the crystal clear waters seem incapable of subterfuge.
4. “If anyone asks, I’m a vampire, okay?” She smoothed her hair down into a fashionable slick. “If I have to explain the concept of dhampir again I’m gonna kill someone.”
“Don’t be an ass.”
5. Some of the worst fates were the ones where everyone was happy.