Gifts From the Wind

The hydronets looked like the white sails of a thousand three-masted ships above the arid desert skies of Solace. Maisie craned her neck to look up at the taut structure stretching a kilometer into the air, viewing it through the filter of the ocular shifters integrated into her fragile biological eyes. There was a tear… Continue reading Gifts From the Wind

Gravedigger

"Start digging graves," Dalton told the Lacuna Populous' android attendant. "Graves?" Dalton dropped the legs of the body he was dragging onto the deck and they thudded dully one after the other. He turned his irritated gaze to the android and rubbed his dark, thick beard. "Holes. Outside. To put the bodies in. Find something to… Continue reading Gravedigger

Shiver

Reef thawed out in a rubbery basin. The chemicals prevented his body from shivering, but not from feeling the cold. It was a biting, terrifying cold. He felt like icicles were pinning down his limbs so he could be cleanly dissected. He was glad he was alone; no one else had to endure his screaming.… Continue reading Shiver

The Child From Qas

Rin stood at the counter in the orphanage's galley when the boy entered. At first he just stood beside her, watching her scoop the guts out of several sugar squash—the guts are the only digestible part—grown right here on Nayim. The boy waited to get her attention until she'd finished with the squash in hand.… Continue reading The Child From Qas

Waking the Clockmakers

I had that fever dream again. I'm walking around the habitat. My feet make hard clicking sounds against the floor, but I can't look down to see why. I'm too busy looking at all the corpses. It's the rest of the team: Wilkens, Kang, Singh, Tenderman, and Din. They're all going about their jobs, cleaning,… Continue reading Waking the Clockmakers

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

Contact

Ryden sloshed through the toxic muck that sucked at his boots beneath the tangled thorn grass. It wasn't grass, of course—that was terracentric thinking—but on strange planets the mind tries to force things into familiar shapes. His unit was twelve days into its march with no obvious end. Twelve days of orange fog and swatting… Continue reading Contact

Sunset on Immaculous

Sutter awoke for the last time feeling calm. He had a twinge of anticipation in his stomach, but no remorse. His respect for the Council was impregnable, and when they sentenced him to the sunset he accepted it fully, embraced it even. The stories say it's beautiful. The garden world of Immaculous had been spared… Continue reading Sunset on Immaculous

Confinement

Grayson was thankful to be home. For the soft clothes, and the fresh warm air, and the alcohol's affect on his brain. He was thankful for all the things he didn't smell. Before the meal was over, his family would make a toast in his honor and then point their eyes at him like the… Continue reading Confinement

The Fleeting Nature of Ever Afters

Habib looked up at the black sky of noon and tried to find Sol, but it was hidden behind the mocking glare of Newton's single tiny moon. The moon was called Apple, but Habib couldn't enjoy the whimsey of it. This was never going to be his home. Newton was what they called a garden… Continue reading The Fleeting Nature of Ever Afters