The Seventh Moon

The six inner moons of Avalon—a typical ice giant out on the fringe—were fine places. Rocky bodies, essentially spheroids, rich in ices and metals. Good for industry, and more than capable of supporting associated settlements. But the seventh moon—that was the prize. If you could get to it. Preliminary data indicated a nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere, temperate… Continue reading The Seventh Moon

Ups and Downs

Nu stood in the warm tidepools and took in one last look at the blazing blue sun. It had no name, just like this planet. But with a little luck, they would both be in the catalogs in a couple hours. The planet was rich in drinkable water, breathable air, and stable landmasses, but luck… Continue reading Ups and Downs

Kite

The flickering neon of the city below played against the moonlight through the prismatic plates of the dome that covered the sky over Karachkina. Rain was due in the weather cycle and the climod stacks were geysering water vapor and particulate nutrients for cloud formation. There were still a few hours before the fat drops… Continue reading Kite

Inhospitus

The air scrubbers in the hab needed a little time to cycle, so Henry took his submarine for a jaunt. There was no land on Inhospitus. It was a world covered in an ocean of acid that constantly burned across its surface where it interacted with the volatile air. It was a completely restricted planet;… Continue reading Inhospitus

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