Taking Charge

Lieutenant Gina Rolas held her cup of burnt, black coffee in both hands, waiting for it to cool. She kicked her feet up at her station on the Silencio's bridge. Most of the stealth frigate's crew were planetside with Captain Hocks and Commander Nitsady, which made her the ranking officer and acting captain. It wasn't a… Continue reading Taking Charge

What Came Next

Kaiden wiped his face with his sleeve as he stepped under an awning and out of the rain. The sky had been blue and cloudless this afternoon, but the low, heavy clouds that now covered the city were as black and malevolent as smoke from a burning mountain of coal. Couldn't predict the weather an… Continue reading What Came Next

Butterfly

Dean stared at his hands through the plastic of the facemask, the now-empty syringe in the turmeric-colored dirt beside him, discarded, and he wondered with awe and terror what might become of him. A breeze rustled the black star-shaped leaves of the tree he sat under, and it sent a shiver up his spine. This… Continue reading Butterfly

Scatterbrained

Mary was a little scatterbrained when she found it, but that had been intentional, not to mention lucrative. She worked in the mines on a planet with the interminable name OGLE-2013-BLG-0341L B b; for whatever reason the naming rights were tangled in a legal dispute which left a situation where the planet could be mined… Continue reading Scatterbrained

The Impossible

For three days and nights the deluge had been unbearable, forcing Valius and the small detachment of Excubitors he commanded to set up camp on the hillside just beyond Coven's Ford. The men grew foul without the labor of marching to distract them from the storm which pelted their tents and howled in their faces… Continue reading The Impossible

A Tale to Tell

The gnarled tangles of swamp brush refused to bend or break, forcing Cliff Asna to make his way forward in a zigzagging fashion like an old drunkard. It was cold and it was dark, but it was no use at all being caught in the open during daylight hours—Betelgeuse would fry your suit and broil… Continue reading A Tale to Tell

Boulders

"Just follow the ridge of that crater around to the right for a while. But mind the boulders. They don't slip often, but when they do they don't give you any warning. Silent as starlight." Hector had been backseat driving for three days, now. He only stopped talking long enough to keep drinking. If the… Continue reading Boulders

Blackout

Tori woke up like a pot left to boil over, lurching up and gasping from a nightmare immediately forgotten. Her eyes were hot and dry and crusted firmly shut from the dew drops she used last night. The high was second-to-none, but you always paid for it in the morning. She picked the goop from… Continue reading Blackout

No Place for a Human

Kayla was lost in the light of the sun tunnel. In theory, she only had to move in a straight line. But the exotic matter that comprised the tunnel walls appeared to branch out into twisting fractals. At a certain point, the concept of a straight line simply ceased to have any meaning. Dust devils… Continue reading No Place for a Human

A Thing Too Short

"Oscar, where have you been?" With Miranda, at her cabin down in the glasswood groves—not that he was about to admit it. He casually rubbed the back of his neck and flopped himself down on the couch without removing his boots. "Out," he said, barely hiding the barbs in his voice. "I am allowed to… Continue reading A Thing Too Short