Always the Prankster

It was the first day of the month, and that meant testing all of the pressure relief valves in the First Axiom's water systems. It was just routine maintenance, but Tyrone hated it. He always put off valve 12B-46 for last. It was in the engineering pod aft of the passenger cabin. The only way to… Continue reading Always the Prankster

When the Stars Align

It was early—very early—but the air was warm and still. And Benoît, for his part, hadn't complained in the least. He'd even offered to carry the backpack she'd filled with breakfast pastries, a thermos of dark coffee, and an outdoor blanket. Kirsty thought she might love him, which was what made him worthy of what… Continue reading When the Stars Align

Worm Food

It wasn't raining this morning, so Eino didn't grab a poncho. But, as he'd come to expect, the weather on Kultainen Tunti could change on a dime. Without the weather mod-sats there was little that could be done about it. At the moment, things were not as golden as the name implied. Eino was soaked.… Continue reading Worm Food

Can’t Stop Progress

The Queensboro Bridge was all backed up. Karsyn had never been in a traffic jam before—there hadn't been a traffic jam in New York for decades. She peered out the window; it looked like there was something going on at the old additions that led down to Roosevelt Island, but it was hard to tell.… Continue reading Can’t Stop Progress

A Little Chaos

Though the sky was the dark of night, interrupted only by the steady smiles of distant stars and the blue-green arc of the Ring, the clouds far below glowed with orange light. They looked remarkedly like hot coals ready to be fanned into glorious flames. Tareq sipped his cortado. He was fortunate, and he took… Continue reading A Little Chaos

Another Atonement

Esrik was unfamiliar with the customs of Capella II, and none more so than the religions. But, he thought as he stood at the steps of the Onyx Temple of Connectedness, they're all generally the same. He could get what he needed here. He climbed the steps and the grand doors parted for him. The… Continue reading Another Atonement

The Price of a Scholarship

Irina floated to the catwalk where her governess waited. Instead of taking the water pouch offered to her, she swatted it away and banged her side fist repeatedly against the bulkhead. Her governess swam over and scooped Irina loosely into her arms. "What has gotten into you, child?" Irina shrugged the woman off. "I don't… Continue reading The Price of a Scholarship

Body Builder

Arsen was building a new body. The process was tedious and incremental, but an improvement over the natural way, he supposed. And this was no new life he was bringing into the world; just a vessel. A vessel through which he might live on. It helped that he'd finally settled on a new name: Luciana.… Continue reading Body Builder

Nothing Left to Lose

"Dr. Ahmed, please. There must be another way." Maryam had the unfortunate distinction of being the most frequent target of identity theft in the world. After selling her biometric authentication startup to a Big Tech company for $100 billion, she disappeared for a couple years before reemerging as one of the strongest voices advocating that… Continue reading Nothing Left to Lose

Ghosts of the Array

Whenever her mother needed a fresh bucket of water, Karmina always volunteered to get it. For starters, it got her out of whatever chore she was muddling through. Often times one of her brothers would finish her chore for her before she returned. But more importantly, she loved to see the array. Mother told her… Continue reading Ghosts of the Array