Right Where We Left Off

The fusion heat from the lander's touchdown rockets sent scorching wind gusts down the nearby alleyways of Sky City, and for a brief moment the intense light cast long shadows in the direction of the falling sun. Shopkeeps and patrons raised their voices over the tumult, but the lander was otherwise met with indifference. There… Continue reading Right Where We Left Off

Walk Away Happy

Red leaves, red bark, red soil. A red jungle beneath a red sky. The pure red sunlight above. Zenn was gray. It was a trick of the light; everything that wasn't red appeared in grayscale to the human eye beneath this unusual sun. No one called Mars the red planet anymore; Rosenhold had taken the… Continue reading Walk Away Happy

Guest Room

Kara sat up in bed and clutched her chest. There was a familiar pounding at her front door. She threw a robe around her toned frame and went to answer it without bothering to check the time—at some point the hour no longer mattered and it was just late. Without flipping on the porch light… Continue reading Guest Room

Ineffectual

Captain Forsch was bathed in the mint green glow of the Kelp Nebula as he sailed by the scattered formation of the protesters. The small escort fleet from Freespace Private Security kept the protesters' ships outside the work zone, but nothing could be done about their relentless transmissions. The Kelp Nebula is a limited public… Continue reading Ineffectual

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

The Encryption Ward

Sawyer Trill was intuitive, observant, and a quick learner. He was a talented coder. Dealt a different hand he could have led a comfortable happy life. Instead, the most responsible role model he'd had was his mom's hush dealer—guy called himself the Glass Man, and everyone else did too because his real name didn't matter.… Continue reading The Encryption Ward

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

Psychotropic Space Nuts

Gatlin felt weird. The whole world seemed to be capsizing around him, and he felt...magenta? He knew the feeling was usually called cold—he was shivering—but for some reason he was equating the tactile chilliness with the color magenta; he could feel it crawling across his skin, little flickery blobs of purple-red like paisley come alive. He… Continue reading Psychotropic Space Nuts

Patient 83

"So it's, like, expensive. That's what you're saying?" I genuinely couldn't tell if he was in denial or if he was actually that dense. What he needed was the truth. Unfortunately, there were a hundred other people in the waiting room who I might still be able to help, so he was on borrowed time… Continue reading Patient 83

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