Unexpected Stop

Shay sat in a lotus pose beneath the nested glass pyramids of the reducers. From her perspective, the bright white room took on a brilliant ultramarine hue, but to an outside observer the interior of the pyramids would appear to be a deep mahogany red. The pyramids were, of course, clear. It was a curious… Continue reading Unexpected Stop

A Little Luck (and a Lot of Violence)

It was worse than she'd feared. Denver had more wires and tubes of pumping fluid running through him than her starship engine. But there was no time to be cautious; a whole legion would be descending from their orbital dropships on the next pass. Whatever Phia was going to do, she had to be gone… Continue reading A Little Luck (and a Lot of Violence)

All the Others

Xarin simply stood there, overcome, in the early morning shadow of the canyons. He cocked his head, reflecting the slight cant of the face before him. Violet eyes returned his gaze. Looked through him. Each one was the size of a house, and the head was larger than the Curio II, the transport he'd arrived… Continue reading All the Others

The Minor Gods

Blue Aster 6 was God. For a time. A tangible god; the first built by human hands. It wasn't a claim it had made on its own. It had come democratically. God by consensus. There hadn't been a Blue Aster 1-5. Not in any meaningful way. They'd been stillborn, each of them. If they could… Continue reading The Minor Gods

Won’t Hurt a Bit

Colin grabbed the kid. Kid—that's how Colin thought of him, but of course he was a grown man. A grown man was any man old enough to bear the full weight of the consequences of his actions, even if that weight crushed him. And a kid, well, a kid was anyone who chose the wrong… Continue reading Won’t Hurt a Bit

Retrograde

Launch was in three days. That meant today was Pirinid's last day of leave before she had to report to the launch complex for final preparations. Her whole life had been a series of preparations, but now that closest approach was upon her, she wasn't certain she wanted to be an Ambassador. Oh, but her… Continue reading Retrograde

War Within the War

After six days, the recycled, re-purified, re-sterilized urine was beginning to taste like what it actually was, but Louisa remained patient and unmoving. Cold but not shivering. Tired but not sleeping. Alert and ready. She was a professional, if a grave robber could be such a thing; and if not, she was at least experienced.… Continue reading War Within the War

Just the Start

I ran down the emergency outer corridor on Lambda Deck, but it looked like all the others. The escape pods were gone. The automatic lighting was intermittent. The long-dried dark brown splatters on the white walls and floors made my heart thrash in my chest and I had to keep swallowing bile, but I refused… Continue reading Just the Start

Walkabout

Pearce Kelly was lost among the underdecks, alone on one of his famous walkabouts. It was an exercise he'd learned from his grandfather—Grandpa Kelly—who in turn had learned it from his grandfather, Xavier Ballad. Great-great-grandpa Ballad had lived out most of his life on Earth, signing on as the Progeny Asunder's inaugural Navigation Officer in… Continue reading Walkabout

Starship Fuel and Blood

This was not Captain Jord's first trip to the Deitnerkon; he'd been to Authorial Headquarters many times. But this was the first time since his son had died. His son, Askorot, was slain on the Ophiuchus Line in glorious battle, defending the Authorium from the death-hordes from beyond the disc. The planet where he'd fallen… Continue reading Starship Fuel and Blood