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

No Prisoners

"Bring them out." Par Acaces had no question as to who the ruhl meant by them. The par gathered the feeble space-weakened prisoners, with their wet eyes and their dry elastic skin, and marched them in a shackled line off the hulking battle transport. Ruhl Shald  was waiting on the narrow bridgeway, pacing and clomping about… Continue reading No Prisoners

Lux Apocrypha

Lieutenant Colonel Randall Jung watched alone from the observation spire of his command cruiser, the Fate Arisen, as the drop ships poured from the formation of carriers by the thousands. The starfield beyond was completely blotted out. To think, such an imposing show of force, and still it would not be enough. A million soldiers… Continue reading Lux Apocrypha

Noblest of Endeavors

Giants of light and hellfire swirled around Blair like lightning bugs caught in a twister. She couldn't rely on her vision at these speeds; relativity caused the universe to warp and flux around her little cocoon of spacetime in ways that weren't only unnatural to her earthborn eyes, but unnatural even to nature. Outside of… Continue reading Noblest of Endeavors

Or Worse

Haruto jumped up off the floor and ran his hands over his face and chest. That was one hell of a shock. He cursed at himself for his carelessness; he could have been seriously injured, or worse. He bent over and picked up his glasses, and only then did it occur to him that he… Continue reading Or Worse

No Philosophers Aboard the Prism

"What do you know, Doc?" The small contingent of science-minded survivors loitered around the lower level of the observatory like dead leaves without a breeze to carry them. The other—the religious, and the despondent, and the most insufferable of them all, the indifferent—migrated around the gargantuan alien spaceship in endless, meaningless loops, passing the time… Continue reading No Philosophers Aboard the Prism

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

Short Circuit

A blast of roiling heat momentarily fogged up the outside of Sri's visor, and even through her suit's insulation the flash caused sweat to bead up on the nape of her neck and roll down her spine. She glided into the engine compartment of the Khamseen and pulled the hatch shut behind her, sliding the mechanical… Continue reading Short Circuit

Lexicon

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

Winners Take All

It seemed the sky itself was on fire. Ruby and sapphire beams crisscrossed in midair, arcing toward dozens of growing white points of light—cruisers from the Accord descending like falling stars on this most noncompliant of colony worlds. With all the firepower it was easy to forget it was nighttime. "Randolph, get your ass over… Continue reading Winners Take All