Beachfront Property 2105

Meera rested her forehead against the see-through paneling of the transport drone, daydreaming aimlessly until she saw the checkered orange balloon appear in the sky ahead. She was nearly home. It had been an especially bad season—four category-fives plus a minor earthquake caused by the erosion the hurricanes brought with them. But there was her… Continue reading Beachfront Property 2105

Guest Room

Kara sat up in bed and clutched her chest. There was a familiar pounding at her front door. She threw a robe around her toned frame and went to answer it without bothering to check the time—at some point the hour no longer mattered and it was just late. Without flipping on the porch light… Continue reading Guest Room

Micro Problem

When Micro got really mad his pockmarked pointy-chinned face turned bright red; it made his head look like a strawberry with a wet mop on it. Right now, Micro was really mad. His nasally voice echoed in the concrete substructure beneath the abandoned launchpads, out beyond the city walls. "What. The fuck. Is this?" "It's… Continue reading Micro Problem

Green Bombs

"Officials in the EU today confirmed that the port town of Vidin, Bulgaria is the latest in a string of recent cities to mandate evacuations after the explosion of a suspected dirty bomb. Over the last 19 days, similar devices have been detonated in: Kanpur, India; Belém, Brazil; and Ningbo, China. While no one has… Continue reading Green Bombs

Long Distance Call

Swirling pixels in Ian's periphery indicated an incoming call. He begrudgingly answered, letting the feed overlay his vision with minimal opacity. He didn't want to lose a finger. "Hello, Jenna," he said, knowing how much she hated it. Sure enough, she frowned. The expression fit her wrinkles precisely. "That's no way to address your mother."… Continue reading Long Distance Call

Return of the Maleficarum

As a young man, Rich Speyer thought he'd seen the last of the Maleficarum. At the time, he commanded the special joint task force responsible for the Sweep—the rounding up of the dissenters, the objectionists, the pacifists, the skulking members of the anti-party-party, and shuttling them off world to take their deviant ideas to the stars.… Continue reading Return of the Maleficarum

Projecting

Ava Graves stepped cautiously out of the escape pod and onto the alien ship. There was no one to greet her. No one to lovingly vivisect her for scientific pursuits, either, but still, the solitude after such a long and lonely stretch was maddening. A long corridor stretched before her, its every angled surface reflective… Continue reading Projecting

Smoker

"That's the dumbest shit I've ever seen." Kai had envisioned a more enthusiastic response. "Just wait," he said, "you'll have one too by month's end; I guarantee it." He slurred his words around the snorkel-like mouthpiece. It would take some getting used to, he admitted to himself. Maddox plopped down onto the old worn armchair,… Continue reading Smoker

Wandering on Hinterland

Harper sat sullenly at the top of the habitat's spire, looking out above the canopy as the first—and brightest—of Hinterland's two suns tucked itself below the horizon. At least it would cool off a little. She took the stairs down to the surface level, passing Brielle in the mudroom leading to the garage. "I'm going… Continue reading Wandering on Hinterland

Ineffectual

Captain Forsch was bathed in the mint green glow of the Kelp Nebula as he sailed by the scattered formation of the protesters. The small escort fleet from Freespace Private Security kept the protesters' ships outside the work zone, but nothing could be done about their relentless transmissions. The Kelp Nebula is a limited public… Continue reading Ineffectual