Slip

Josie's arm was jammed into one of the Thresher's exterior maintenance ducts past her elbow, but she still hadn't found the ruptured cell. The attack had left the ship vulnerable—it was a miracle they'd managed to limp it away at all—but nothing made you feel quite as exposed as being out in the vacuum with… Continue reading Slip

I Think, Therefore I Amnesia

“That event horizon’s only getting closer, ExI. Punch the coordinates and jump us out.” The android froze and tilted its face up toward the overhead above the helm. “Aw hell, Exoanthropic Intelligence my left foot! Don’t tell me you can’t remember.” “Bulk expulsion of superannuated data is a hallmark of higher-order cognition.” It pressed its… Continue reading I Think, Therefore I Amnesia

Mind is Mind

The small jump shuttle, its name and serial numbers and various tracking devices destroyed in faraway systems, hard docked with the remote outpost. The ship had never been here before, but the pilot had. Sofia shut down the engines and locked the thrusters. Then she started up the various maintenance cycles, including the FTL scrubber… Continue reading Mind is Mind

Gears of the Spheres

"Copernicus, Kepler, and Newton all lived one right after the other. Then there was a pause. There were plenty of smart people, probably, but not a need. Where Newton left off was pretty good for a while. Anyway, then there was Einstein, and that was a big jump that was good enough for a few… Continue reading Gears of the Spheres

Something to Fight For

Jules stood alone in the Proteus desert on Empyrean. He'd never been first before, not in any of the trillions of light cones. Good. He was at the front then, making a real change. He wouldn't be alone for long. But as the seconds dragged on he didn't know what to do with himself. Always… Continue reading Something to Fight For

Ghosts of Tomorrow

The Empress of the SUGRA Skies sunbathed at a hangar on Eta Convex while Sawyer watched from the shadows. He stood to stave off the urge to sleep. He could rest when he was back on board, after the next jump, but not now. Not while there were hands other than his own touching the Empress. The… Continue reading Ghosts of Tomorrow

Storm Shelter

Petty Officer Lars Lamont helped get the clamp in position and then got out of the way. He didn't like it, but the Kid had to learn sometime. The whole cohort was at Lars' least favorite part of the training: practicum. He had to babysit while they did the wrenching on the Kólga's FTL drive. They… Continue reading Storm Shelter

Special Cargo

The pilot made Lula feel extremely uncomfortable. The pilot likely felt nothing at all for his part. Him? Was the pilot a man? Not in the philosophical man-or-machine sense, but biologically. She'd assumed he was a man based on his bulk and the breadth of his shoulders, but she supposed those were not meaningful indicators.… Continue reading Special Cargo

Paradox Resolved

The Milky Way rang like a bell, but only Kenza Ziani could hear it. The construction of the Resonance Stations had been her life's work—more than a life's work in some ways. Her brain was still her own with only minor alterations, but she'd regrown numerous new bodies around it through the long years. Twenty,… Continue reading Paradox Resolved

The Worst Kind of Enemy

"Ma'am, with all due respect, am I to understand—" Admiral Canty dismissed him with a wave of a pixelated hand—the heavy encryption on the 'tangle feed tended to make the holos look blocky. "You aren't to understand anything, Captain." It wasn't often that someone could make Tanner's rank sound derogatory. The Amphinome, the ship under his command,… Continue reading The Worst Kind of Enemy