The Fleeting Nature of Ever Afters

Habib looked up at the black sky of noon and tried to find Sol, but it was hidden behind the mocking glare of Newton's single tiny moon. The moon was called Apple, but Habib couldn't enjoy the whimsey of it. This was never going to be his home. Newton was what they called a garden… Continue reading The Fleeting Nature of Ever Afters

A Powerful Motivator

0micron rebooted in the dark. When it activated its optics it was unsure if they were still functional. It tilted its face upward—assuming the gyros were still calibrated—and found a distant point of dim light. It opened its apertures and shifted down the spectrum into the infrared. It was in a deep pit after an… Continue reading A Powerful Motivator

Human Nature

"You've got five minutes," said the guard before he closed the hatch and locked it shut. Easton was alone with Briony Corland, the Capricornus Killer. The room was tiny, like a cross section of a hyperloop car with two seats facing each other in front of opposing hatchways, separated by a nearly invisible screen of… Continue reading Human Nature

Beachfront Property 2105

Meera rested her forehead against the see-through paneling of the transport drone, daydreaming aimlessly until she saw the checkered orange balloon appear in the sky ahead. She was nearly home. It had been an especially bad season—four category-fives plus a minor earthquake caused by the erosion the hurricanes brought with them. But there was her… Continue reading Beachfront Property 2105

Guest Room

Kara sat up in bed and clutched her chest. There was a familiar pounding at her front door. She threw a robe around her toned frame and went to answer it without bothering to check the time—at some point the hour no longer mattered and it was just late. Without flipping on the porch light… Continue reading Guest Room

Micro Problem

When Micro got really mad his pockmarked pointy-chinned face turned bright red; it made his head look like a strawberry with a wet mop on it. Right now, Micro was really mad. His nasally voice echoed in the concrete substructure beneath the abandoned launchpads, out beyond the city walls. "What. The fuck. Is this?" "It's… Continue reading Micro Problem

Green Bombs

"Officials in the EU today confirmed that the port town of Vidin, Bulgaria is the latest in a string of recent cities to mandate evacuations after the explosion of a suspected dirty bomb. Over the last 19 days, similar devices have been detonated in: Kanpur, India; Belém, Brazil; and Ningbo, China. While no one has… Continue reading Green Bombs

Long Distance Call

Swirling pixels in Ian's periphery indicated an incoming call. He begrudgingly answered, letting the feed overlay his vision with minimal opacity. He didn't want to lose a finger. "Hello, Jenna," he said, knowing how much she hated it. Sure enough, she frowned. The expression fit her wrinkles precisely. "That's no way to address your mother."… Continue reading Long Distance Call

Return of the Maleficarum

As a young man, Rich Speyer thought he'd seen the last of the Maleficarum. At the time, he commanded the special joint task force responsible for the Sweep—the rounding up of the dissenters, the objectionists, the pacifists, the skulking members of the anti-party-party, and shuttling them off world to take their deviant ideas to the stars.… Continue reading Return of the Maleficarum

Projecting

Ava Graves stepped cautiously out of the escape pod and onto the alien ship. There was no one to greet her. No one to lovingly vivisect her for scientific pursuits, either, but still, the solitude after such a long and lonely stretch was maddening. A long corridor stretched before her, its every angled surface reflective… Continue reading Projecting