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

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

Meeting Your Maker

What would have been a simple excavation on Earth took more than nine years at Sinus Iridum. Still, it was worth the extra effort to be the first xenoarchaeologist. He'd sold all his worldly possessions, alienated his family, and watched his coworkers turn into tentative friends and then into casualties as Luna did its very… Continue reading Meeting Your Maker

What They Say About Us

Major Poppy Seaver exited the airlock and used her MMU to propel herself smoothly toward the Well. "Command, I'm on approach." Earthside, Command could see everything she was doing. More than 100 technicians filled the massive control room and crowded around monitors and control stations on countertops, on wheel carts, and occasionally on the floor. They… Continue reading What They Say About Us

Waking the Clockmakers

I had that fever dream again. I'm walking around the habitat. My feet make hard clicking sounds against the floor, but I can't look down to see why. I'm too busy looking at all the corpses. It's the rest of the team: Wilkens, Kang, Singh, Tenderman, and Din. They're all going about their jobs, cleaning,… Continue reading Waking the Clockmakers

We Were Here

Tana was the world's best cryptographer. She hadn't thought so before, though she'd known she was talented, but her very presence on this task force confirmed it. Everyone here was the best at what they did. The eclectic team included a renowned Oxford linguist, a cosmologist stationed on Luna's far side, an Angolan who was… Continue reading We Were Here

Best-laid Plans

Even through the filters, the air reeked of sulfur. Yellow starlight punched swirling holes through the cloud cover and baked the gases out of the strange crystalized rocks that covered the region—a product of the crash, surely. Tavish watched the ship's entrance from his perch atop a stone column across the steam-filled gorge. Three days… Continue reading Best-laid Plans

Risks and Rewards

"It's a star; a black dwarf." "I already told you, that's impossible." She reminded him that for a white dwarf to cool to the cosmic background radiation temperature it would take a quadrillion years—70,000 times the current age of the universe. "You can recite numbers all you like, but I'm telling you it's a black dwarf."… Continue reading Risks and Rewards