My Summer Vacation

"Next up is Leighton Decker." Leighton walked to the front of the class, dragging her feet as she walked so that her polka-dotted boots--her favorites, though entirely out of season--scraped loudly against the coarse carpeting. Twenty-three blank faces stared at her in wait. By the end of the year she'd be able to perform the… Continue reading My Summer Vacation

Star Child

Yensuensu'suneasun--Yensu, for simplicity--awoke in a bath of bright silver light. The long night was not over; it was too early to wake. He stretched his proto-limbs against the strong thin filaments of webbing and the syrupy fluid within the interior of the pod. He did not know the word mother, but that was what his spindly… Continue reading Star Child

Modus Vivendi

Despite his cracked ribs and the burnt flesh above his hip, Seiko managed to laugh. "Do you know what your problem is?" Astrid didn't answer. She was busy dragging herself away, leaving dark red smears across the cold floor of the Second Law's bridge. "You're not prepared to die." He laughed again, but it morphed into… Continue reading Modus Vivendi

Tête-à-tête dans les Toilettes

There were two stalls, and the first was occupied. Ambassador Han preferred to use the toilet in private, but he didn't have time to be choosy. Something wasn't sitting right in his stomach--probably those ugly land lobsters they served raw last night. Damn outworld food. He finished his business and reached for a sanitary square,… Continue reading Tête-à-tête dans les Toilettes

In Need of Forgiveness

Luther kicked in the cathedral door. It was the only part of Concordance Station that was permitted to forego the triple-redundant locking hatchways required of all other passageways--granted by popular vote, the fools. His left arm was dead below the shoulder, and his right was preoccupied keeping pressure over the fresh hole in the side… Continue reading In Need of Forgiveness

Winners Take All

It seemed the sky itself was on fire. Ruby and sapphire beams crisscrossed in midair, arcing toward dozens of growing white points of light--cruisers from the Accord descending like falling stars on this most noncompliant of colony worlds. With all the firepower it was easy to forget it was nighttime. "Randolph, get your ass over… Continue reading Winners Take All

Time Trees, From the Encyclopedia Humanica

The postwar priority was to find our lost cousins. They'd scattered themselves blindly to the stars like fledglings too soon from the nest, taking with them only ingenuity, luck, and a desire to live in equal measures. We knew for certain only that they would no longer be human in form, if not in spirit.… Continue reading Time Trees, From the Encyclopedia Humanica

With Only Moons to Bear Witness

The sulfur sky was a thin fog that smeared the horizon like finger paint and turned the three moons--Miya, Dota, and Castelor--to triplet discs devoid of definition. It smelled like pig shit. Jorge tried not to talk to keep the taste out of his mouth. "How far you think that tower is?" asked Dom. Jorge… Continue reading With Only Moons to Bear Witness

The Encryption Ward

Sawyer Trill was intuitive, observant, and a quick learner. He was a talented coder. Dealt a different hand he could have led a comfortable happy life. Instead, the most responsible role model he'd had was his mom's hush dealer--guy called himself the Glass Man, and everyone else did too because his real name didn't matter.… Continue reading The Encryption Ward