Permanent Provisionals

Everyone assumed Karaka was from Karaka—somewhat understandably—but in fact she was not. All of her grandparents had emigrated from the Karaka system as young adults. Like her parents, Karaka was born in the light of Yed Prior, and technically that's where her citizenship remained. In another month she would legally become a citizen of the… Continue reading Permanent Provisionals

Recruited

Kris sat at a small booth in a dim corner of Club Andromeda sipping a tart cocktail and puffing on an alien hookah that sent her sky high for a fleeting few seconds each time she hit it. She really didn't like it here. Wasn't her scene. But that's why she chose it; she was… Continue reading Recruited

Lost Places in Want of Finding

Trillium stood naked in the night fog, their amber body glowing softly through the obsidian black plates of their carapace. Before them was the temple of Manan Urrev on the world of the First Exilists, Mapmara. They'd been looking for it so long that they couldn't remember ever doing anything else, even with their enhanced… Continue reading Lost Places in Want of Finding

Last Days on Chalkydri

The sky was red, brighter at the horizon, and streaked with the trails of charged particles. It made Jaro think of a blood orange. He was hungry. No fresh fruit around though; just pallets and pallets of MREs. He grabbed one off the top—calf's liver dumplings, ugh—and tossed it back. On second thought, he wasn't… Continue reading Last Days on Chalkydri

A Sort of Homecoming

It had been a hard-fought tour and Harlow felt she'd earned the right to go home. But not like this. She waded slowly through the river in her six-ton mech suit, mindful of making waves that would douse her squadmates who were on foot. The water was up to their waists and they were doing… Continue reading A Sort of Homecoming

The Die-Hards, the Drifters, and the Desperate

Hunter made his way down to the Waiting Room. It was the closest bar to the drop hangers and a favorite of freelancers such as himself. Good place to get the latest scuttlebutt from the surface. It was right next to the appraisery where returning rangers traded ancient trinkets for cash, and naturally they were… Continue reading The Die-Hards, the Drifters, and the Desperate

After Overture

"Mind if I sit?" Lyla considered the question for longer than was polite and then caught herself. "Yes, of course." It was a semi-ambiguous answer, which was how she meant it, but she motioned to the seat across from hers anyway. "Thanks." The young man smiled cordially, set down his little tray of packets and… Continue reading After Overture

Loose Ends

Abe stood on the highest ledge atop the butte and regarded the exposed rock layers across the canyon. It had been a long time since he'd really stopped to look at them. A long time. A lot had happened. If you'd never been to 42 Orions B—no one could agree on a suitable permanent name,… Continue reading Loose Ends

The Civility

Something invisible slammed into Meralda's shoulder. Splinters of bone flew away and the force knocked her to the ground, but by the time she bounced back up she was healed. It was just surface damage. A gray sheen of nanocytes swarmed the area and laid down a thick patch of synthetic exoskeleton over the impact… Continue reading The Civility

Idle Hands

It didn't have a name. People sometimes called it the Barrens, but most preferred not to talk about it at all. Penal colonies have little overlap with polite conversation. Unfortunately for Myla, those sorts of unwritten social codes no longer applied to her. She took the first step out of the drop-pod and onto the… Continue reading Idle Hands