Attenuation

There was a static hiss. Flickering teal light beyond his visor. His shoulder hurt—must have slept on it funny. Actually, he was oddly reclined. Anton Tereschenko swam out of a foggy dreamless sleep and into a foggy dreamlike reality. He was wearing a flight suit and strapped to a crash couch. He unlatched the harnesses… Continue reading Attenuation

Resplendent Roulette

"Bull shit," said Myke with his distinctive edge-world drawl. "I got ten coin and a brand new jacket that says you ain't got the guts." He held his hand to his eyes and squinted as the clouds passed and the twin suns beamed warmly on the three boys standing in the short silvery grasses. "You ain't… Continue reading Resplendent Roulette

Priority Message

It came from beneath the ice dear God what was that thing it came from beneath the fucking ice! Waverly Thompson ran for her life over a frozen rock-littered waste the color of burnt molasses. Her heart raged in her chest as it failed to satiate her oxygen-starved muscles, but her scramble didn't slow. It… Continue reading Priority Message

Yellowjacket

After all communications ceased, Flight Engineer Sadhbh Duffy and Science Officer Eddie Takeda stuck it out another nine days before departing in the last Soyuz capsule. They'd tried, but Commander Colin Kask could not be coaxed into abandoning the station. He would remain, alone and without means to escape. The last astronaut. That was 21… Continue reading Yellowjacket

The Body

"We're here to collect," said the short guy with the pinched rodent face, widow's peak, and black bomber jacket with the cuffs rolled up. Fleur shifted in her high back upholstered leather chair behind an oak desk that was reinforced with steel plating and carbon fiber to catch bullets when the need inevitably came, and… Continue reading The Body

Hope Incarnate

Soft orange light bathed the Trailblazer III as it tumbled out of bulkspace, and the captain of the expedition, Paz van Dijk, finally set eyes on the citrine sphere that was UDF 2457. The red dwarf didn't even have a proper name, but to Paz it was hope incarnate. "Nice and easy," she said. "Maintain… Continue reading Hope Incarnate

Ex Astris

Roman's heart raced. This was it. The culmination of three years of painstaking nonstop work. Truly nonstop; he'd found it easier to live in the lab for the last several months—years? Surely it was only months—venturing out less and less frequently. His fellow lab assistants shared his zeal, but no one could compare to Dr.… Continue reading Ex Astris

Short Sighted

A silent gray burst of ejecta fountained up from Miranda's edge, bright as it caught the sunlight against a black sheet of sky, and Evelyn knew it was done. Aboard the Force Majeure, she walked from the bridge to the galley and poured herself three fingers of cognac and threw back a good portion of… Continue reading Short Sighted

Colony Collapse Disorder

The deep blue crescent of Surefire grew to unfathomable size as the shuttle descended on the night side. High white chains of clouds disappeared behind the orange glow of reentry flames. Tina kept her dark eyes downcast and rubbed her fingers. She was collected but didn't want to invite conversation. Speculation as to what had… Continue reading Colony Collapse Disorder

A Serious Problem

Its face was a putrid shade of orange, like fruit gone to rot. It had only the most basic impression of the necessary features—eyes, nose, and flat mouth—but lacked detail. No wrinkles, no whiskers, no creases or blemishes, no freckles or scars or tired bags beneath the eyes. The lack of definition made the flecks… Continue reading A Serious Problem