Science Fiction


By Vanessa Fogg
3,847 words · 14-minute reading time

You’ve worked twelve hours straight; you feel you could work twelve hours more. But an alert is chiming softly and a bar in your peripheral vision flashes your low blood sugar level. Another bar shows the amount of energy the neuromods are using to boost your willpower and motivational circuits. A whisper of electricity brushes your auditory cortex, and a pleasant voice gently suggests that you take a break. You scowl, yet a third bar shows the total hours you’ve already logged in this week. You know that you’re pushing it, and you don’t need another lecture from your health/wellness app on rest and productivity. You’ve come to a good stopping point anyway. The alert waited for that, of course. You sigh and stretch.

Logging out, you tell the other team members, and there’s the mental equivalent of distracted nods of assent.

You blink as you emerge from the company’s VR environment. Night fell while you were working; a single light burns low on an end table across the room....

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About the Author

Vanessa Fogg dreams of selkies, dragons, and gritty cyberpunk futures form her home in western Michigan. She spent years as a research scientist in molecular cell biology and now works as a freelance medical writer. She is fueled by green tea. For a complete bibliography and more, visit her website at She is erratically active on Twitter at @FoggWriter

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