Or Worse

Haruto jumped up off the floor and ran his hands over his face and chest. That was one hell of a shock. He cursed at himself for his carelessness; he could have been seriously injured, or worse. He bent over and picked up his glasses, and only then did it occur to him that he… Continue reading Or Worse

Pestilence Is Thy Name

Willow stepped backward onto the ledge and held the vial high over her head. The detective tossed his gun aside and held his open palms in the air, speaking in soothing tones. "Come down off that ledge. Let's just talk. I don't think you want to do this." He was wrong. She did want to… Continue reading Pestilence Is Thy Name

Domestic Sales

"Just sell one at cost to get some short term cash and I'll find a new investor." "Daphne, you need to face reality. Ourcology will be insolvent in thirty days. The model is dead." Daphne Maladine stared down at the earth as it spiraled slowly against the black. Was the station spun up too fast?… Continue reading Domestic Sales

The Bloodletting

"What's the problem? Just take the money." Billy shoved the crumpled brown envelope back into Lawrence's hands. "Unless you're planning on doing it for free." Billy's crew shuffled back and forth across the dock, unloading containers and pallets and crates of interstellar freight. "I can't anymore..." said Lawrence. "What's your deal?" He threw his arms… Continue reading The Bloodletting

Shed

Imogen had shed. The disease was native to Anaxagoras and wiped out the first two settlements completely, but in the decades since then there hadn't been a single case. It had been a simple matter of changing the airlock procedures to include a quick burst of UV light—not much different from a tanning bed. It was… Continue reading Shed

Glass Houses

Gage was looking at Charlotte, entranced by the way the wisps of hair from behind her ear drew delicate lines over her slender neck. But she was looking at the Quant. "Do you know what this is?" she asked. The underlit glass structure before them loomed heavy. Gage followed the etched tracks within the main… Continue reading Glass Houses

What Could Go Wrong?

...Researchers in Boston today announced they've completed genetic mapping of Argiope bruennichi, commonly known as the wasp spider, indicating that they've isolated the genes responsible for manufacturing dragline silk. Known for its toughness, ductility, and strength-to-weight ratio, there are numerous applications for... ...but while they appear unremarkable, these dairy cattle are part of a long-running… Continue reading What Could Go Wrong?

Playing the Odds

Officials said that while the long period comet would pass within the moon's orbit, the chances of it striking the Earth were only 1 in 3,000,000. They'd been saying it all summer. When the news was first announced it went through the usual media blitz, cycling down after a few weeks and then reemerging at… Continue reading Playing the Odds

The Reckoning

She had a black hole for a heart, or at least that was the rumor. When you go around calling yourself The Reckoning, rumors like that are bound to follow like famine follows a locus swarm. In truth, she had no heart at all, just a pump. And a backup. There was no black hole,… Continue reading The Reckoning

Hell Could Be Many Things

The cargo hold door hissed as the locking cylinders depressurized, and then it swung silently open. A rush of stale air blew back Faulkner's coal-black mane. There was an electric light inside. "Please, let me go now," said the technician. Faulkner had already forgotten about him; pity. He faced the tech, placed his hands atop… Continue reading Hell Could Be Many Things