Warnings From the Tanglemind

"Phobia. Kinetics. Dodecahedron." Cara was alone with the tanglemind. Robin said she'd only be gone twenty minutes tops. That was an hour and a half ago. "Tourmaline. Aureolin. Wisteria." The world's easiest babysitting job was getting on her nerves. "Polychrome. Leptis Magna. Backscatter." The Holsteiner Crown, like all federated naval ships, had an onboard tanglemind. Technically,… Continue reading Warnings From the Tanglemind

Ghosts of Tomorrow

The Empress of the SUGRA Skies sunbathed at a hangar on Eta Convex while Sawyer watched from the shadows. He stood to stave off the urge to sleep. He could rest when he was back on board, after the next jump, but not now. Not while there were hands other than his own touching the Empress. The… Continue reading Ghosts of Tomorrow

Storm Shelter

Petty Officer Lars Lamont helped get the clamp in position and then got out of the way. He didn't like it, but the Kid had to learn sometime. The whole cohort was at Lars' least favorite part of the training: practicum. He had to babysit while they did the wrenching on the Kólga's FTL drive. They… Continue reading Storm Shelter

New Moon

Wikus stared up at the Moon, and half a billion refugees stared back. He couldn't help but think of his grandfather, Papa. He would have been proud. The atmosphere within the domed city atop Olympus Mons was thin; not for being on Mars or even for its elevation, but for the allocations underway. Olympus Prime… Continue reading New Moon

Memories of Birds

The early morning air was cool, but not uncomfortable, as Annika strolled through the unstructured wilds of Quaoar. Little insects leapt and glided away from the thin grasses underfoot, chittering softly in their rhythmic, stuttering way as she passed. The long, slender amphibians croaked and gurgled from the rocks along the edges of ponds where… Continue reading Memories of Birds

Ups and Downs

Nu stood in the warm tidepools and took in one last look at the blazing blue sun. It had no name, just like this planet. But with a little luck, they would both be in the catalogs in a couple hours. The planet was rich in drinkable water, breathable air, and stable landmasses, but luck… Continue reading Ups and Downs

The Cleanup Crew

Livi snorted and shook her head as they approached what remained of the Rockhound. Zora gave her a sideways glance and half a frown. "What?" She looked like a hard vacuum personified—cold, imposing, and entirely without a sense of humor. "It's just—you know—all that empty space out there and they still managed to hit something. Like,… Continue reading The Cleanup Crew

But First, Breakfast

""What the hell are those?" Qit had never had a conversation with Supreme Commander Helton before, but he knew that's who was questioning him now, even without looking up from his plate. There are only so many people on Primus Alexandria, only so many voices, and Qit knew them all well. This was not one… Continue reading But First, Breakfast

The Devil’s Playground

Winged saber-toothed T-Rex. Those were the words that finally convinced Colton to join his old service buddy, Matteo, on a trip to Mars. They were also the reason he'd probably die there. Darwin, colloquially known as Darwin's Playground, or simply the Playground, was a large crater in the Argyre quad, and was home to more than… Continue reading The Devil’s Playground

Building the COB

The observable universe was something near 100 billion lightyears across and all but half of a hundred-quintillionth of it was empty space, so Leia felt justified when she woke up feeling annoyed about her cramped quarters. When it was complete, the COB—Callisto Orbital Basecamp—would serve as the gateway between the inner system and the as… Continue reading Building the COB