Freewheeler

Brena sat by herself on the floor of her small dirt-covered habitat, sipping tea. Above her was her only window: a circular borehole filled with still water—for the radiation—terminating in a skylight. Through it was the familiar splash of the Milky Way spilled across the night sky. She didn't look up. Didn't need to. A… Continue reading Freewheeler

Thermostat

This time the hackers had landed a winning blow, striking at the very heart of the modern American business office: the thermostat. Damn, these guys were good. Now the fine people of Berg Magnetics were forced to wear their puffy coats and earmuffs indoors, trying awkwardly to make sales calls with chattering teeth and type… Continue reading Thermostat

Godsend

Spiro sat at his Steinway classic grand piano. It was black and polished like volcanic glass, and darkly reflected his scowl. One hand softly tapped out a sullen melody while he smoked what would be his final cigarette with the other. Beside the empty music rack sat a handheld coilgun. It only held a single… Continue reading Godsend

Lifespark

The jungles of Venus II were lush and verdant, much more so even than Earth II. The exoplanets were given rather uncreative traditional names that had more to do with history and orbital alignments than habitability. But the air here was still deadly acidic to fragile human lungs, so at least that was one thing… Continue reading Lifespark

FNG

"My God, I think I'm gonna be sick." M4<^>w? looked down at its new trainee with disdain. It didn't show on its face, but it felt it. The apertures adjusted on its six ocular inputs, arranged vertically on the face of its elongated head, in an impression of a squint. "God had nothing to do… Continue reading FNG

Mind Throne

The Junior Cleric shuffled over the dusty runner covering the bridge-way spanning the blackness to the Mind Throne. Head Rector Mautorum was in Holy Commune. He would not want to be disturbed. The thick cables leading away from the Throne crackled with the incredible flow of power, and occasionally jumped like dreaming eels. One jumped… Continue reading Mind Throne

Crosstalk

Lincoln, a little drunk, entered his dark home while his car parked itself in its stall. He tugged at the knot of his tie and opened the top button of his shirt. He stopped at the hall bath to empty his bladder on the way to the kitchen—had to make room for more. As he… Continue reading Crosstalk

A98 in Progress

The city was bedding down for the night; the city of analysts and wrench-turners, of school children and factory workers and project managers, that is. The Night City—that parasite that succeeded in entangling itself within and around its daytime sibling without strangling it, that sunless city of teal-lighted windows scattered among the daytime's disused towers… Continue reading A98 in Progress

The Scald

A lone, dark skeleton walked the Scald. The surface was made of standing waves the color of burnt cinnamon, cooked enough to stop from flowing, but not enough to blacken. The crust floated over an ocean of churning magma like a patella cut from its tendons. The skeleton thought it was supposed to have a… Continue reading The Scald

Hard Landings

Captain Filippa Bartlett of the asteroid mining vessel The Devil's Sooty Brother was bringing her ship down for a surface landing. Problem was, The Devil's Sooty Brother wasn't meant for suborbital flight. Teardrop shapes had the same air resistance as a cube in the emptiness of space, and the cube was a much more convenient shape to… Continue reading Hard Landings