“It’s okay,” he said, “you’re safe now.” He flipped the desk down with his elbow and placed the water on it. Three blue pills dropped from his palm.

“Who are you?” Vida asked. “Where are we?”

“Two very good questions. I’m sorry I didn’t have time to introduce myself earlier. My name is Doyle, and this is my bunker. I call her the Admiral. She’s twenty feet below the Montana dirt, so you don’t have to worry about any Máquinas getting in here.”


Vida tried to find meaning for the word, but nothing came. Panic welled in her chest. She felt exposed, naked, with nothing to protect her except a few blankets and her underwear.

“And what should I call you, ma’am?”

A spectral hand grasped her heart and began to squeeze in a slow, sickly rhythm. She saw Doyle’s lips continue to move, but heard nothing. A process had spun off from her internal programming, and it was racing between the infinite rows of her memory banks, looking for the answer to what should have been a simple question.

What is my name?

Vida began to shake.

As the question repeated, other questions joined it. Where am I from? What came before the crash? Who am I? The more the questions repeated, the louder they got, until the words themselves degenerated into clanging and crashing.

The tears came, warm and wet.

Daniel Verastiqui Profile Picture

Hi, I'm Daniel Verastiqui. I write Science Fiction for money and to keep my self-esteem in check. My novels focus on relationships in the larger context of technology, explosions, and gratuitous nudity.

My upcoming fourth novel, Por Vida, returns to the Vinestead Universe twenty years after Perion Synthetics. The future of synthetic living has finally arrived, but so too has the threat of a global machine war. Exciting, right? Told through two storylines set ten years apart, Por Vida showcases the events before and after The Machine War. It's got everything you would expect from a Verastiqui novel: synthetics, VR, AR, peer-to-peer MESH networks, meaningful relationships between two or more people that are defined by the technology that surrounds them, and a naked fight scene. Look for it on Amazon in 2017!

I live in Austin, Texas with my beautiful bride-to-be and two canine scamps. My writing is inspired by an undying obsession with technology as well as my professional work at one of Austin's many tech startups. When I'm not writing about robotic octopus hookers, I enjoy movies, video games, and getting my ass kicked down at Austin Impact Jeet Kune Do.

Drop me a note at daniel@verastiqui.com if you want to chat about writing, my books, or why Weekend at Bernie's 2 should have won Best Picture in 1993. I also have a mailing list that you should subscribe to because that's how I'm writing novels these days. I promise little to no spam.

Click the covers below for excerpts from my books if you feel that's a necessary step at this stage in our relationship.

© 2016 Daniel Verastiqui