Star Child

Yensuensu'suneasun--Yensu, for simplicity--awoke in a bath of bright silver light. The long night was not over; it was too early to wake. He stretched his proto-limbs against the strong thin filaments of webbing and the syrupy fluid within the interior of the pod. He did not know the word mother, but that was what his spindly… Continue reading Star Child

Modus Vivendi

Despite his cracked ribs and the burnt flesh above his hip, Seiko managed to laugh. "Do you know what your problem is?" Astrid didn't answer. She was busy dragging herself away, leaving dark red smears across the cold floor of the Second Law's bridge. "You're not prepared to die." He laughed again, but it morphed into… Continue reading Modus Vivendi

Tête-à-tête dans les Toilettes

There were two stalls, and the first was occupied. Ambassador Han preferred to use the toilet in private, but he didn't have time to be choosy. Something wasn't sitting right in his stomach--probably those ugly land lobsters they served raw last night. Damn outworld food. He finished his business and reached for a sanitary square,… Continue reading Tête-à-tête dans les Toilettes

Terraplant

“What’d you say your name was?” “Garbenzera. Rick Garbenzera.” The director turned his gaunt, thin-lipped face to his assistant, Miranda Spring, a woman with soft features and a hard voice whom Rick would have just as easily accepted to be 25 as 40. He got a mentor-protege vibe from the two of them. They both… Continue reading Terraplant

In Need of Forgiveness

Luther kicked in the cathedral door. It was the only part of Concordance Station that was permitted to forego the triple-redundant locking hatchways required of all other passageways--granted by popular vote, the fools. His left arm was dead below the shoulder, and his right was preoccupied keeping pressure over the fresh hole in the side… Continue reading In Need of Forgiveness

Winners Take All

It seemed the sky itself was on fire. Ruby and sapphire beams crisscrossed in midair, arcing toward dozens of growing white points of light--cruisers from the Accord descending like falling stars on this most noncompliant of colony worlds. With all the firepower it was easy to forget it was nighttime. "Randolph, get your ass over… Continue reading Winners Take All

Time Trees, From the Encyclopedia Humanica

The postwar priority was to find our lost cousins. They'd scattered themselves blindly to the stars like fledglings too soon from the nest, taking with them only ingenuity, luck, and a desire to live in equal measures. We knew for certain only that they would no longer be human in form, if not in spirit.… Continue reading Time Trees, From the Encyclopedia Humanica

With Only Moons to Bear Witness

The sulfur sky was a thin fog that smeared the horizon like finger paint and turned the three moons--Miya, Dota, and Castelor--to triplet discs devoid of definition. It smelled like pig shit. Jorge tried not to talk to keep the taste out of his mouth. "How far you think that tower is?" asked Dom. Jorge… Continue reading With Only Moons to Bear Witness

This Is Not a Drill

As soon as Airman Rhodes reported for duty at the rear of the wash house he let his feelings be known. "Aw, shit. Eight hours with you?" Airman Berd awkwardly flapped one hand in the air and forced a toothy smile. "Together again, huh Rhodes?" It was painful enough folding freshly steamed laundry all shift,… Continue reading This Is Not a Drill

The Builders

Captain Montgomery Abbott floated down the center of the funnel that coupled together the two rotating cylinders of Elbridge Station. Lieutenant Commander Laramore waited on the landing platform, standing stationary but appearing to slide sideways down the wall due to their differing inertial reference frames. Abbott was coming up on 30 years of service, but… Continue reading The Builders