The Civility

Something invisible slammed into Meralda's shoulder. Splinters of bone flew away and the force knocked her to the ground, but by the time she bounced back up she was healed. It was just surface damage. A gray sheen of nanocytes swarmed the area and laid down a thick patch of synthetic exoskeleton over the impact… Continue reading The Civility

Flying High

Saoirse was floating through a giant spherical kaleidoscope, or at least that's how it felt. The feeling was due in large part to the Lighthouse's location in the galactic core, surrounded by the bloated furnaces and black fissures that comprised this lonely carousel. However, some of the feeling undoubtedly came from the pills. She was… Continue reading Flying High

Another Atonement

Esrik was unfamiliar with the customs of Capella II, and none more so than the religions. But, he thought as he stood at the steps of the Onyx Temple of Connectedness, they're all generally the same. He could get what he needed here. He climbed the steps and the grand doors parted for him. The… Continue reading Another Atonement

Now They Call Me Lucky

When the starships all fell from the sky, many people died. But for a few, time merely stood still for a while. You'll notice I didn't say "a lucky few." Some people do; they say, "How lucky you are!" And I suppose it's true, if you make no strong distinction between good luck and bad. But… Continue reading Now They Call Me Lucky

From One Violence to Another

The scorching white sun was overhead and the humidity was oppressive, but even so, the alleys of downtown Gemini City were crammed with people. People everywhere, so close they had to swim and shuffle past each other. A city this big could never be built to a plan. There were no streets to speak of,… Continue reading From One Violence to Another

Accidental Ambassador

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

Trouble Downwell

Captain Miim Sesset bonked her face shield with the bow of her wrist, absently trying to wipe the sweat from her brow. They didn't prepare her for this bullshit back at the academy. The countdown timer was hard to read with her cockpit in blackout mode, but she knew there was under a minute to… Continue reading Trouble Downwell

Retrograde

Launch was in three days. That meant today was Pirinid's last day of leave before she had to report to the launch complex for final preparations. Her whole life had been a series of preparations, but now that closest approach was upon her, she wasn't certain she wanted to be an Ambassador. Oh, but her… Continue reading Retrograde

Starship Fuel and Blood

This was not Captain Jord's first trip to the Deitnerkon; he'd been to Authorial Headquarters many times. But this was the first time since his son had died. His son, Askorot, was slain on the Ophiuchus Line in glorious battle, defending the Authorium from the death-hordes from beyond the disc. The planet where he'd fallen… Continue reading Starship Fuel and Blood

Resplendent Roulette

"Bull shit," said Myke with his distinctive edge-world drawl. "I got ten coin and a brand new jacket that says you ain't got the guts." He held his hand to his eyes and squinted as the clouds passed and the twin suns beamed warmly on the three boys standing in the short silvery grasses. "You ain't… Continue reading Resplendent Roulette