Memories of Birds

The early morning air was cool, but not uncomfortable, as Annika strolled through the unstructured wilds of Quaoar. Little insects leapt and glided away from the thin grasses underfoot, chittering softly in their rhythmic, stuttering way as she passed. The long, slender amphibians croaked and gurgled from the rocks along the edges of ponds where… Continue reading Memories of Birds

Ups and Downs

Nu stood in the warm tidepools and took in one last look at the blazing blue sun. It had no name, just like this planet. But with a little luck, they would both be in the catalogs in a couple hours. The planet was rich in drinkable water, breathable air, and stable landmasses, but luck… Continue reading Ups and Downs

The Cleanup Crew

Livi snorted and shook her head as they approached what remained of the Rockhound. Zora gave her a sideways glance and half a frown. "What?" She looked like a hard vacuum personified—cold, imposing, and entirely without a sense of humor. "It's just—you know—all that empty space out there and they still managed to hit something. Like,… Continue reading The Cleanup Crew

But First, Breakfast

""What the hell are those?" Qit had never had a conversation with Supreme Commander Helton before, but he knew that's who was questioning him now, even without looking up from his plate. There are only so many people on Primus Alexandria, only so many voices, and Qit knew them all well. This was not one… Continue reading But First, Breakfast

The Devil’s Playground

Winged saber-toothed T-Rex. Those were the words that finally convinced Colton to join his old service buddy, Matteo, on a trip to Mars. They were also the reason he'd probably die there. Darwin, colloquially known as Darwin's Playground, or simply the Playground, was a large crater in the Argyre quad, and was home to more than… Continue reading The Devil’s Playground

Building the COB

The observable universe was something near 100 billion lightyears across and all but half of a hundred-quintillionth of it was empty space, so Leia felt justified when she woke up feeling annoyed about her cramped quarters. When it was complete, the COB—Callisto Orbital Basecamp—would serve as the gateway between the inner system and the as… Continue reading Building the COB

The Message and the Messenger

Ian paced down the triangular corridors of the deep space listening outpost like an agitated lion at the zoo. Three walls. Three-month rotations. Three shifts with three technicians each. Threes must be important, so he checked his work every three hours. Didn't leave much time for sleep, but he didn't want to sleep. The nightmares… Continue reading The Message and the Messenger

Kite

The flickering neon of the city below played against the moonlight through the prismatic plates of the dome that covered the sky over Karachkina. Rain was due in the weather cycle and the climod stacks were geysering water vapor and particulate nutrients for cloud formation. There were still a few hours before the fat drops… Continue reading Kite

A War Like Any Other

Zyon Genna had been away at war for more than two standard years, but the hardest part was going home. The small dropship taking him back to his farm also carried his eldest son, Alistair, and his middle son, Rome. The little cabin was weighed down by the ghost of Emerald, Rome's twin sister. Her… Continue reading A War Like Any Other

Inhospitus

The air scrubbers in the hab needed a little time to cycle, so Henry took his submarine for a jaunt. There was no land on Inhospitus. It was a world covered in an ocean of acid that constantly burned across its surface where it interacted with the volatile air. It was a completely restricted planet;… Continue reading Inhospitus