Adventure Awaits

The posters in the recruitment offices on Earth were brightly colored, depicting psychedelic landscapes and brandishing phrases like Adventure Awaits and See the Unseen! Abe couldn't wait to sign up. Then they sent him to oversee the auto-mines scraping niningerite from the regolith on DCKX1023. He was all alone, from one dark dead horizon to the other.… Continue reading Adventure Awaits

Lawn

The garage had bays for three rovers. Tsumugi had a hard time imagining a private citizen needing one rover, let alone three. She gently tossed her bot into the pressurized, purified, triple-filtered triple-scrubbed and triple-treated air. It floated gently through the space, its thrusters puffing lightly as its spherical eyes mapped the garage from every… Continue reading Lawn

Critical Resolution

"War's over," said Commander Cotton. I'd never seen her so grim. I remained laying on my cot, having long ago learned how far I could push against the power dynamic between us, even as our relationship evolved into one of mutual understanding if not respect. "Well then, congratulations. What was the final nail?" "Your acting-chief… Continue reading Critical Resolution

One Problem at a Time

This might be the end. Through her suit, the chaos around her was muffled, like she were hearing it from the bottom of a pool, but to Kassidy that only heightened the unreality of the situation. Sparks were flying and gas was venting. Smoke billowed down the corridor, and the deck beneath her flexed and… Continue reading One Problem at a Time

Betrayal Among Brothers

Castiel held Ishaan with his eyes through 3mm of vacuum-hardened plastic. It may as well have been 10 meters of lead. They'd been as close as brothers, once. But the tides of time erode brothers as easily as shorelines; it's not a measure of virtue or desire, or even grit, but of the accelerating expansion… Continue reading Betrayal Among Brothers

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

Under the Knife

The Lunar Gateway orbital station was made not only of polymers and carbon fibers and lightweight alloys, but, principally, of rules. If humans had been intended for space they would have been born there. To survive in such a hostile and unforgiving environment, a strict, ordered constellation of rules was required. The Gateway had been… Continue reading Under the Knife

The Light of Other Stars

Brook donned her worn, cumbersome pressure suit piece by piece, sat on the uncomfortable bench in the airlock, and waited for equalization. She found a Zen-like solace in the rushing sound of dark viscous fluid filling the lock and she tried to harness it into something positive. Her crewmates had surprised her with a pastry… Continue reading The Light of Other Stars

Multigenesis

The dust got into everything; wrinkles in the rubber gaskets, the edges between a helmet and a visor, under the plastic joints around an elbow or between the proximal and distal phalanges of a thumb. Everything. It doesn't matter how much compressed air you got blasted with in the airlock or if you were diligent… Continue reading Multigenesis