Long Distance Call

Swirling pixels in Ian's periphery indicated an incoming call. He begrudgingly answered, letting the feed overlay his vision with minimal opacity. He didn't want to lose a finger. "Hello, Jenna," he said, knowing how much she hated it. Sure enough, she frowned. The expression fit her wrinkles precisely. "That's no way to address your mother."… Continue reading Long Distance Call

Parasite

Max Montagne stood waiting in Admiral Como's office with an aide who didn't bother to offer him a seat. Max was used to it; even POWs get better treatment than internal affairs. That was the price you paid to have the most important job in the Accord: protect the people from the protectors. Standing suited… Continue reading Parasite

A Proper Burial

Y'reen gathered his children; his two daughters, Roon and Afaya, and his youngest, Cratio, not yet himself a man. "I want a proper burial," he told them. "Like our ancestors." Afaya bit her lower lip and turned to her sister. She followed Roon like illness follows the elderly, still to this day. "Of course," said… Continue reading A Proper Burial

Studying the Veracruz Coast

"This is Sr. Navcom Technician Hugo Shaw, acting pilot of the Veracruz Coast." His full round cheeks jiggled just a little as he spoke. Beads of sweat stuck to the roots of his combed back black hair along the top of his forehead. "I am acting on orders from Chief Pilot Erica Vance, who was executed… Continue reading Studying the Veracruz Coast

Eureka!

Malachi was sick of this damn ship. The other families didn't have anyone his own age, just a bunch of crusty old adults and little snot-nosed kids. The whole trip was pointless; he'd legally be an adult in a couple of years and would just move back home anyway. In the meantime, he decided to… Continue reading Eureka!

Shed

Imogen had shed. The disease was native to Anaxagoras and wiped out the first two settlements completely, but in the decades since then there hadn't been a single case. It had been a simple matter of changing the airlock procedures to include a quick burst of UV light—not much different from a tanning bed. It was… Continue reading Shed

Portraits of the Patriarchy

Hayden Alico stood in the grand foyer of Alico Station's spinning torus. The grand foyer was next to the docking berths—it was meant to impress. But it had never impressed her. She climbed the imposing regal staircase, with its hand carved banisters and silver inlays emphasizing the theme of dynastic power, until she reached the… Continue reading Portraits of the Patriarchy

Easy Targets

The missionaries crossed the dull gray landscape slowly, their buggy straining with the weight of their supplies, even at this low gravity. Easy targets. Eunomia was well past its boomtown days. The ringwoodite deposits, rich in hydrates, had all been depleted and shipped across the Belt. It was a cruel irony, then, that generations later… Continue reading Easy Targets

Prepared for Anything

The Cada's crescent outline still faintly glowed violet in the skies above Nova Aparanta as the lingering exotic matter decayed and fell away from the ship's shielded hull. Omari was among the survivors, looking down at unnamed continents and murky freshwater oceans, knowing their fates were chained to this unknown world as sure as the stars… Continue reading Prepared for Anything

Jubilee

Jay and Warren sat above 352nd Avenue, their feet dangling 1,500 meters in the air as they ate sandwiches and synthetic fruit from their lunch pails. They worked third shift; it was just after nightfall. "The Jubilee holiday is coming up--you have any plans?" asked Warren. The big man crossed his ankles and swung his… Continue reading Jubilee