Hard Landings

Captain Filippa Bartlett of the asteroid mining vessel The Devil's Sooty Brother was bringing her ship down for a surface landing. Problem was, The Devil's Sooty Brother wasn't meant for suborbital flight. Teardrop shapes had the same air resistance as a cube in the emptiness of space, and the cube was a much more convenient shape to… Continue reading Hard Landings

Where Life Goes

Magma oozed down the hillside to the basalt plains upon which Rose stood waiting. Flakes of sulfur fell in what would always look to her like slow motion, but was really a natural motion that exposed her Earth-centric bias. It could hardly be avoided, but she tried to mentally call herself out when she noticed… Continue reading Where Life Goes

Two Options

He'd tried everything he could, and he was down to a choice between two options: jettison the cargo hold and make an emergency landing, or crash, killing everyone on board. Abe had no desire to be responsible for anyone's death, most of all his own. It was a crucial decision, and to him, not a… Continue reading Two Options

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

Scavengers

Deadeye saw it first, no surprise. We rode toward the smoke. Loud Mouth couldn't stop giggling, interrupted every so often by that disgusting clicking noise the stump of his tongue made against his uvula. I ran my palm over the smooth end of my left arm, which terminated at the mid-forearm. It was an interstellar… Continue reading Scavengers