The Roll

Kenzo woke up when the cigarette burned its way down to his fingers. Must have dozed off. He wasn't sure the last time he really slept. Or ate something, for that matter. He checked the little baggy in the pocket of his red leather jacket. Two white rectangular pills with red dots in the center:… Continue reading The Roll

Unbound in the Shade

"Entering the Shade in 30 seconds," said Ecliptious, the Resolution's onboard AI. It was the smartest member of the crew—though they were all gifted scientists and explorers—even bound as it was. The risks of this mission were unknown, but the risks of an unbound AI were well understood. The mission proceeded, and Ecliptious remained bound. No… Continue reading Unbound in the Shade

Accidental Ambassador

She sat alone in the observatory, drinking coffee and watching the 11-dimensional universe unfurl itself around her ship like a kaleidoscope exploding inside a mirror maze during a fireworks show. It was so very strange. The coffee, that is; not foldspace. She never used to like coffee, let alone without an aggressive amount of cream… Continue reading Accidental Ambassador

Trouble Downwell

Captain Miim Sesset bonked her face shield with the bow of her wrist, absently trying to wipe the sweat from her brow. They didn't prepare her for this bullshit back at the academy. The countdown timer was hard to read with her cockpit in blackout mode, but she knew there was under a minute to… Continue reading Trouble Downwell

Conclusions

He sat at his usual place in an odd little alcove at the end of the bar. It was an ill-lit and uninviting corner; it kept away the passersby—the other regulars all knew to leave him alone, and in that sense they did well to accommodate. It's why he kept coming back. He and Skip—the… Continue reading Conclusions

Bigger Problems

He triple-checked everything, sticking to the official checklist. Alone, on the night side of Viviani—a rocky subsatellite in the Poerava system—was not the time nor place to play cowboy and go off script. As frustrating as that may be. "Aleksander to base, still ready to make the splice." "I said stand by," came the reply… Continue reading Bigger Problems

A Couple Questions

"It's raining, Detective," said her assistant. "Bring a coat." The voice was only in her head, but when the neurons were cajoled into firing in just the right sequence the effect was no different than a face to face conversation. Reality was only a matter of interpretation—always had been. Take the rain, for instance. Brigid… Continue reading A Couple Questions

Deadflower Refinery

"Isn't this just something?" she asked with enthusiasm. She clasped her hands together in front of her heart. Her eyes sparkled in that excited way of hers and I nearly ceded, but caught myself. One of these days those eyes would get me to blindly agree to something foolhardy. Maybe today. But not yet. I… Continue reading Deadflower Refinery

Something Drastic

As she pulled them apart with her mind, one by one, the soldiers naturally, inevitably, were drawn to her. They believed they were made of bone and flesh and sinew, but Ayla saw beyond it. The soldiers, like all other things—living, dead, or somewhere in bewtween (where most things dwelled)—like Ayla herself, were made of… Continue reading Something Drastic

A Simple Scam

The metal container was the size of an old refrigerator and weighed a lot more. If it weren't for her exo she would have had no chance of moving it, not all at once. And Alexa only wanted to do this once. One big payday. It was a simple scam. It really started 150 years… Continue reading A Simple Scam