Deep Beneath Damascus

Dr. Regina Crane looked down at Damascus with despair. She'd gotten 1.5 billion miles from home without issue—so much so that she'd battled bouts of boredom—and now she'd fumbled within the one yard line. The other sulci mocked her with their stillness: Alexandria, Baghdad, Cairo. Only Damascus Sulcus was active, its cryovolcanoes blasting tons of… Continue reading Deep Beneath Damascus

Pestilence Is Thy Name

Willow stepped backward onto the ledge and held the vial high over her head. The detective tossed his gun aside and held his open palms in the air, speaking in soothing tones. "Come down off that ledge. Let's just talk. I don't think you want to do this." He was wrong. She did want to… Continue reading Pestilence Is Thy Name

Amethyst

Amethyst, like most planets discovered in the 23rd century, had a name as one-dimensional as it was misleading. There's no quartz here. The first ship to attempt a landing nearly combusted when its hull started oxidizing from the iodine in the atmosphere. That's what gives it its rich violet palette: the iodine vents. Its scorching… Continue reading Amethyst