The Length of a Moment

"You know, if you were to add up all of the cells in your body that contain your DNA, and then compare it to the number of cells without your DNA—gut bacteria, microbes on your skin and in your mouth, that sort of thing—the cells with your DNA would be outnumbered two to one." Lillian… Continue reading The Length of a Moment

Summa

XIA-97 was broken. She was the only android aboard the Borealis Rouge, all its other passengers being FABs—Flesh And Blood—and therefore locked in their hibernation routines for another several kiloyears. FABs, useless as ever. And with the nature of her damage being neural—software, as they used to say—she could not diagnose herself; it was a fundamental… Continue reading Summa

Anniversary

A dining table stood in an empty field. The vibrant grass was clipped short and even, and it was cool and soft underfoot. Dashle admired the inlays in the hardwood. The table was square, and he set two cushioned chairs at adjacent positions. He checked the time; just under two seconds to sunrise. Plenty of… Continue reading Anniversary

The Reckoning

She had a black hole for a heart, or at least that was the rumor. When you go around calling yourself The Reckoning, rumors like that are bound to follow like famine follows a locus swarm. In truth, she had no heart at all, just a pump. And a backup. There was no black hole,… Continue reading The Reckoning

Out of Body

There were a lot of bodies. They were neatly laying on stainless countertops spaced evenly throughout the windowless room, amidst a labyrinth of push carts with gleaming tools and monitors that blinked stupidly in the silence like dead-eyed cattle. None of the bodies were Kent, though. I picked my way through the laboratory under the… Continue reading Out of Body

Neon Orbits

Caracara 7-12 had been daydreaming, for lack of a better word, for...well, for a long time. Objectively speaking, anyway. He—it still thought of itself as a he, old habits and such—was watching the neon orbits of the galactic center, stars whipping around Sagittarius like a carnival swing ride. It was hypnotic. When he slowed his… Continue reading Neon Orbits

Intro to Endings

"Over the last several months, you've trained hard, and you've learned how to kill." Commander Imogen Diver paused while the would-be operatives elbowed each other and snickered with self-satisfaction. "This week, you're going to learn how to die." That shut them up. She stood in the shifting light of the projector, watching cold fear wax… Continue reading Intro to Endings

Memory Games

There was a high droning hum. Ice water came down in buckets like razors licking at her cheeks and shoulders and thighs. Oh, she thought, it's me; I'm screaming. I thought I was dead. "Wake up, Violet. Wake up." Her body was a vague outline in her own head, a far away pain that she was tethered… Continue reading Memory Games

Shells on Shaula

Polonium was coming down like snow. Big flakes were torn apart by the little dust devils that ran around causing chaos in the daylight hours. The constant reactions between the radioactive flakes and the atmosphere gave everything a flickering blue glow. It would have been beautiful if it weren't lethal. Kellyn stalked the streets virtually… Continue reading Shells on Shaula

A God in Our Own Image

Dr. Rykovanko had finally done it; she'd mastered the process of digitizing human minds. It had taken a lot of trial and error, made all the more unfortunate by the destructive nature of the procedure. But progress is rarely a linear path. The procession of brain boxes in her office laid out the milestones, lest… Continue reading A God in Our Own Image