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

No Philosophers Aboard the Prism

"What do you know, Doc?" The small contingent of science-minded survivors loitered around the lower level of the observatory like dead leaves without a breeze to carry them. The other--the religious, and the despondent, and the most insufferable of them all, the indifferent--migrated around the gargantuan alien spaceship in endless, meaningless loops, passing the time… Continue reading No Philosophers Aboard the Prism

Escaping the Nonpareil

Sparks came down like molten rain. Drea ran through the neon smoke and darkness, clawing at the air in front of her. Sometimes she caught stray cables hanging like cobwebs, or severed ducts that breathed hot steam onto her face, but mostly she only swatted uselessly at the emptiness. The Nonpareil was bleeding to death, but… Continue reading Escaping the Nonpareil

Live Worlds

Dustin came around when Len threw a fist-sized chunk of wreckage at this chest. The escape pod was in rough shape. Some of the coolant tanks had ruptured and caught fire. Dustin unstrapped himself from his crash couch and activated the Halon system. There were gaping holes in the hull; given the fire he'd just… Continue reading Live Worlds

The Truth About Exile

Officially it was called Humanis Beta, but everyone just called it Beta. They pronounced it Bait-uh, like the Americans used to say it. Ah, to have been an American, Apurna thought; a people liberated by the notion that the future was a thing already dead and buried. Apurna was still trapped in the here and now like it was flypaper.… Continue reading The Truth About Exile

Studying the Veracruz Coast

"This is Sr. Navcom Technician Hugo Shaw, acting pilot of the Veracruz Coast." His full round cheeks jiggled just a little as he spoke. Beads of sweat stuck to the roots of his combed back black hair along the top of his forehead. "I am acting on orders from Chief Pilot Erica Vance, who was executed… Continue reading Studying the Veracruz Coast

Stealing Secrets From the Dead

She didn't feel a pulse, and he wasn't breathing. He was dead; the dumb kid was dead. But River wasn't about to call the authorities. Her little 27-hour tea shop enjoyed the best Net connection on the planet because she'd tapped into the government hardline by digging down to it through the basement. It made… Continue reading Stealing Secrets From the Dead