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

Starslinger

"They say it's the work of a Starslinger." Eyes widened and hands covered mouths during the rapturous silence that followed. Only Bilia had something to say, and it was as against the grain as ever. "Then they're wrong." Nine turning faces made him the focal point of a human parabola, wearing expressions that said I'm not… Continue reading Starslinger

If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Seek Vengeance

General Welkar took the podium. "Congratulations, cadets. You are still here. When I addressed this group a year ago, you numbered more than a thousand. And now? Thirty. Those others did not share your grit, your intellect, your skill, or your boldness. They quit. They were cut. Some believed they had no limits, and they… Continue reading If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Seek Vengeance

Existential Risk Management

What is an acceptable level of risk when tempting existential threats; the very future of humanity, or the universe itself? How's a fifty-fifty chance of obliteration sound? Seems high. One in a hundred? Astronomically high, no question. How about one in a billion? This is where the average person begins to feel reasonably safe, but… Continue reading Existential Risk Management

A God in Our Own Image

Dr. Rykovanko had finally done it; she'd mastered the process of digitizing human minds. It had taken a lot of trial and error, made all the more unfortunate by the destructive nature of the procedure. But progress is rarely a linear path. The procession of brain boxes in her office laid out the milestones, lest… Continue reading A God in Our Own Image

Dust to Dust

For all his political posturing and his penchant for charismatic public overtures, Leon Brault was having second thoughts. It wasn't an ideological shift he was experiencing, but an awareness of his survival instinct. He was close enough now to see the Artifact with his own eyes, separated only by a few kilometers and 4mm of… Continue reading Dust to Dust