Just the Start

I ran down the emergency outer corridor on Lambda Deck, but it looked like all the others. The escape pods were gone. The automatic lighting was intermittent. The long-dried dark brown splatters on the white walls and floors made my heart thrash in my chest and I had to keep swallowing bile, but I refused… Continue reading Just the Start

Don’t Touch

It looked like a house-sized tumor. It was a fleshy mass that twitched and oozed thick scarlet fluids and puffed out gases at intervals. The whole thing had a clear sheen like raw pork shoulder. The two scientists and their military escort were too amazed to retch at the otherwise disgusting glob that filled the… Continue reading Don’t Touch

Staying Productive

Fortunately, the Aeacus had dropped out of fourspace before taking it on the chin; if it hadn't, its pieces would be scattered from here to Pavo-Indus. There'd be nothing left to investigate. Then John Faldswell would be at home, alone in his meager apartment, spending another evening spiraling away from productive ways to stave his… Continue reading Staying Productive

Projecting

Ava Graves stepped cautiously out of the escape pod and onto the alien ship. There was no one to greet her. No one to lovingly vivisect her for scientific pursuits, either, but still, the solitude after such a long and lonely stretch was maddening. A long corridor stretched before her, its every angled surface reflective… Continue reading Projecting

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

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

Knowledge Density

It's complicated. The Separatists are fragmented, largely decentralized, naturally. But they're political dissidents, nonviolent except the most extreme offshoots, like those out in Alpha Crucis, or the lessor known and more radical sect at Mintaka. It was the Mintaka group that bombed the hospital on Amaranth Station, a residential outpost well within the Federation's borders.… Continue reading Knowledge Density

Done Playing Nice

"If you had nothing to hide, why did you fire off all the escape pods and try to scuttle the ship?" The lanky captain looked like a wax manikin who'd spent a little time in an oven, his features drawn and sullen. His bottom lip quivered uncontrollably and his pink, swollen eyes sat atop gaunt,… Continue reading Done Playing Nice