Hailing the Skybenders

Singulon wandered through the rooftop jungles in quiet contemplation with its metallic hands clasped behind its back. It rarely went below—indoors—to the precision of the glass labyrinth stacked a kilometer high and stretching like a mold bloom a hundred kilometers in every direction. That underworld belonged to the humans. Singulon found no comfort there, nor… Continue reading Hailing the Skybenders

Very Last Array

Celeste pulled herself slowly over the scaffolding of the main body of Outpost Myrina. The station had been her entire world for more than two years as she worked alone in the emptiness of the outer solar system, but the habitat, with its fuel reserves and maintenance modules and stabilizers, was utterly dwarfed by the… Continue reading Very Last Array

No Time At All

Is this the first time we've met? A chance encounter, if I remember correctly. And it must be that you were confused right now, yes? Must be. Well, I will tell you what you told me, just as you told me to, to the best of my understanding. Forgive me, but perhaps I should start… Continue reading No Time At All

Grime Beneath the Gilding

The Valhalla Megacity on Callisto was housed beneath a single continuous dome. It was 3,800 kilometers across, which easily gave it entry to the club of the Seven New Wonders of the Sol System. It helped tremendously with tourism. Valhalla was divided into 361 equal-sized territories; one for each one-degree sector beneath the circular dome,… Continue reading Grime Beneath the Gilding

The Idyllia Disaster

Norman Braider looked down at the landscape around Idyllia on Theta Librae III as the shuttle punched through the atmosphere. The settlement sat on the shore of a great winding river that looked now like a dead python sprawled over the plains, its dark belly turned skyward. Grim. The situation below was coloring his thoughts… Continue reading The Idyllia Disaster

Make Yourself Useful

Make yourself useful, he said. Some goddamn nerve. Two years, Lin had served on the Dauntless. Two long years, without so much as a weekend's leave, making four jumps a week while under-crewed and poorly maintained. And not once had she ever missed her mark. Never. She'd been telling Captain Sayre from day one that a… Continue reading Make Yourself Useful

Trouble Is Where You Look for It

Priscilla swished the whiskey back and forth over her tongue in time with the pulsing neon lights and the bassy, synth-heavy music that swirled around the club. It was packed tonight, and she was in one of her moods. She was looking for a specific brand of trouble. She shouted to the bartender, "Another double,"… Continue reading Trouble Is Where You Look for It

The Hard Way

Leo was learning a lot about hyperspace travel today, as he'd thought he might, but he'd hoped for a more passive kind of education. He tried not to vomit, but his teeth were floating something fierce. He made eye contact with a scowling guard and looked back at his feet, careful not to look at… Continue reading The Hard Way

Making Waves

Terrance ran between terminals with the awkward gait that came from his magnetic boots. He tried to route power to weapons as the requests came in without sacrificing critical functions: life support, navigation, shields, maneuvering, cryonics. But without weapons, they wouldn't be able to stop their pursuers. Hell, everything was critical. He felt an unnatural… Continue reading Making Waves

Studying the Sunseers of Titan

A young woman prepares her canoe. She has a name, but not one that can be easily written, so it will be omitted here. Her people communicate only in a language of gestures, having abandoned their vocal chords while designing their new bodies so many generations ago. She finds a tall, straight pillar of water… Continue reading Studying the Sunseers of Titan