Ambassador Neph sat in the partitioned meeting room aboard the Diplomacy II, bouncing her heels off the floor. She wiped off her sweaty palms on her pant legs. Every time she realized her legs were bouncing she would stop, only to soon realize they'd started again. The door on the other side of the transparent partition… Continue reading Was It Something I Said?
There was a peculiar scent in the air, a mix of spilled petrol and roasted pork with sweetsop. Bata had visited many of these metrolettes, and they all had their own smell. He removed the clear regulator mask from beneath his robes, the rubber hose snaking back beneath the folds, situated the mask over his… Continue reading An Audience With the Presider
She sat alone in the observatory, drinking coffee and watching the 11-dimensional universe unfurl itself around her ship like a kaleidoscope exploding inside a mirror maze during a fireworks show. It was so very strange. The coffee, that is; not foldspace. She never used to like coffee, let alone without an aggressive amount of cream… Continue reading Accidental Ambassador
He sat at his usual place in an odd little alcove at the end of the bar. It was an ill-lit and uninviting corner; it kept away the passersby—the other regulars all knew to leave him alone, and in that sense they did well to accommodate. It's why he kept coming back. He and Skip—the… Continue reading Conclusions
Paa set up her shop on a dusty road an hour's ride from the spaceport at Ibreseem. It was a little difficult to get to, and that was the point. Tourists thought it was authentic. The 61 Virginis tourism board had cultivated and maintained a rich mythology for centuries—a fabricated mythology to be sure, but… Continue reading Lexicon
Yensuensu'suneasun—Yensu, for simplicity—awoke in a bath of bright silver light. The long night was not over; it was too early to wake. He stretched his proto-limbs against the strong thin filaments of webbing and the syrupy fluid within the interior of the pod. He did not know the word mother, but that was what his spindly… Continue reading Star Child
Fallon had nearly given up, and was at that moment considering turning back, when she saw them over the next rise. There were two tall figures wearing dark hooded cloaks the color of red clay. Each held a long black pike. And between them, in similar garb, was Ira. They stood as if they'd been… Continue reading The Ru Rempisa
The heavy door lock clicks open, and in stumbles Raphael de Visviri, leading his consort by the buttocks. He tells her to make him a drink as he shoves her toward the liquor cabinet, and then he shuts the door and reengages the lock. He flicks on the light switch, but nothing happens. He flicks… Continue reading Money Is Not the Only Power