What Came Next

Kaiden wiped his face with his sleeve as he stepped under an awning and out of the rain. The sky had been blue and cloudless this afternoon, but the low, heavy clouds that now covered the city were as black and malevolent as smoke from a burning mountain of coal. Couldn't predict the weather an… Continue reading What Came Next

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

Sugar Rush

Ruth picked up the emptied plates from around the galley table, trying to remember each woman's name as she gathered utensils and cups: Cherry had the red hair, and Tootsie had a gap between her big front teeth and had an accent from the outer colonies, Kat was a tank made out of muscle and… Continue reading Sugar Rush

Bloodrunning

Peyton nervously bounced her leg, making an exceptionally loud jangling sound as the chains of her shackles rattled against the steel of the floor and bench. The holding cell at Top End Spaceport—outside of Darwin—was little more than a seat in the center of a three meter cube. The ceiling was one big light panel,… Continue reading Bloodrunning

Io

The small freighter fell out of FTL after what felt like only a heartbeat to the two-man crew. "That's it?" "That's it," said Gilderson. Technically he was a pilot, but the onboard AIs did all of the real flying. This left him with a lot of down time, which suited him fine. Under the neon… Continue reading Io

Copies of Copies

They were still called printers, but the machines were unlike anything imaginable to Gutenberg, or Galvani, or Gates. They looked like empty rooms. Drop in your raw material—didn't really matter what it was, as long as you had enough mass—and let the nanomites turn it into something else. Turn ashes into drinking water; spent power… Continue reading Copies of Copies

Old Friends

Seth sat on a stool, head down, eating the noodle equivalent of particle board steeped in salt water. The tiny discount eatery in the open market was as full of smoke that smelled like a chemical fire as it was crowded at this late hour. He could hardly shovel his meal into his mouth without… Continue reading Old Friends

Too Little Willpower

I stood gawking like a tourist at the inverted skyscrapers that hung down from the sky of stone and ice and iron. But I wasn't a tourist. This was my home now. The hollowed out asteroid was thick with the stench of people who all showered in the same few gallons of precious recycled water.… Continue reading Too Little Willpower

Some Deal

Brin Dimanche was not the type of person you wanted to make angry. In fact, you were better off if she didn’t know you at all. Any orbit around her was a decaying one. You could tell just by looking at her senior advisors; none of them were seniors. Minutes with Brin could take decades… Continue reading Some Deal

Guilt in the Age of Indifference

Py-S'tem Station grew closer like a giant squid at sunset, backlit by the crimson gases of the nebula, its bulbous head surrounded by long tentacles of docking runways. They were about to be swallowed up. Not Tul, but his passengers, of course. He'd been working the prison transport route from the Alcona system to Py-S'tem… Continue reading Guilt in the Age of Indifference