The Heart of Elatus

The air was stale, but the fact that there was air at all was something of a miracle. Demetri was the first person to walk the halls of Elatus in a thousand years. He shut his visor. Breathable as the air might be, it was damp and there were thick carpets of mold overhead, as… Continue reading The Heart of Elatus

Morals of a Gun for Hire

"This isn't right." "Not this shit again," growled Kendall, "not now. We've been over this: they're not people." Zaine and Seren kept working. They'd heard it before and didn't want to hear it again, though Leon suspected they agreed with him on some level. He was all about pinching mint from the Fedcorp, but murder… Continue reading Morals of a Gun for Hire

Transcending Asija

It was chaos. Asija-36 knew that, but knowing a thing provided little comfort when you were between its jaws. The deviations were becoming increasingly difficult to mask. The human mind is not a closed system, but turn the clock back far enough and you reach a single cell. Limited components: organelles and proteins, themselves made… Continue reading Transcending Asija

Ghost Eyes

Harlow stepped virtually through dozens of exchange terminals throughout the valley. She was casing the exits, checking proximity to police stations or to known front businesses belonging to her various competitors. The one thing she wasn't checking for was security cameras. Those were everywhere, and unavoidable. A loud metallic creak behind her indicated someone was… Continue reading Ghost Eyes

The Cleanup Crew

Livi snorted and shook her head as they approached what remained of the Rockhound. Zora gave her a sideways glance and half a frown. "What?" She looked like a hard vacuum personified—cold, imposing, and entirely without a sense of humor. "It's just—you know—all that empty space out there and they still managed to hit something. Like,… Continue reading The Cleanup Crew

Big Wins

There was an Attack Macaque in the courtyard—AM-120 from the looks of it: forward infantry mecha, fast, and trigger happy for an AI. But that's not what worried Daiju. He was worried about the mushroom cap standing guard, so called for their umbrella-like helmets. It wasn't a nice term. Wasn't meant to be. They fancied themselves… Continue reading Big Wins

Mind Throne

The Junior Cleric shuffled over the dusty runner covering the bridge-way spanning the blackness to the Mind Throne. Head Rector Mautorum was in Holy Commune. He would not want to be disturbed. The thick cables leading away from the Throne crackled with the incredible flow of power, and occasionally jumped like dreaming eels. One jumped… Continue reading Mind Throne

A98 in Progress

The city was bedding down for the night; the city of analysts and wrench-turners, of school children and factory workers and project managers, that is. The Night City—that parasite that succeeded in entangling itself within and around its daytime sibling without strangling it, that sunless city of teal-lighted windows scattered among the daytime's disused towers… Continue reading A98 in Progress

Unbound in the Shade

"Entering the Shade in 30 seconds," said Ecliptious, the Resolution's onboard AI. It was the smartest member of the crew—though they were all gifted scientists and explorers—even bound as it was. The risks of this mission were unknown, but the risks of an unbound AI were well understood. The mission proceeded, and Ecliptious remained bound. No… Continue reading Unbound in the Shade

A Couple Questions

"It's raining, Detective," said her assistant. "Bring a coat." The voice was only in her head, but when the neurons were cajoled into firing in just the right sequence the effect was no different than a face to face conversation. Reality was only a matter of interpretation—always had been. Take the rain, for instance. Brigid… Continue reading A Couple Questions