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

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

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

A Dozen Starlings

It was her eyes that unnerved him so. Two uncaring beads of a deep blue that he had never seen in another, like holes punched in the ocean floor, without any hint of light or recognition. She sat now across a long glass table, framed in the predawn dimness by her silky golden-white hair, holding… Continue reading A Dozen Starlings

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