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

Fate of the Denali

"Commander, this is Spatha Six." Horace stood alone on a grassy outcrop overlooking a calm river that curved to the south through brilliant grasslands. But there was tragedy here. "Go ahead, Six." "I've got something you'll want to see, ma'am. I think I found the main drive system." The quiet hum of radio noise shushed… Continue reading Fate of the Denali

Revelations of Pilgrimage

Enev wasn't the least bit interested in the pseudo-religious Pilgrimage, but was even less enthused about making the journey with his parents. Going with his grandfather, Hershel, had been the compromise. Grandpa Hershel had nearly a century on Enev, and the two remained cordial but had little in common—they didn't even look alike. They spent… Continue reading Revelations of Pilgrimage

Professional Courtesy

"Captain Itsu to the cockpit, please." There was no acknowledgement, but moments later there were two klanks against the hatch. I buzzed him in. "Problem, Aviator?" I looked back over my shoulder, past the captain, at the squadron seated in the cabin, and then nodded at the co-pilot's chair. He made his aggravation known but… Continue reading Professional Courtesy

Welcome to the Peregrine

Antonio's fine jacket and leather shoes were already soaked and dripping, but he shielded himself from the freezing rain beneath the bulk of the space freighter on dock seven. He set down a bulging duffle bag to shield his eyes from the spotlights on the ship's ramp, a briefcase hanging heavy in his other hand.… Continue reading Welcome to the Peregrine