One Wrong Move

Keaton sat hunched over the game board, considering the endless permutations. His clothing clung to his sweat and he shifted uncomfortably. The room itself was very comfortable; the ornate game table sat in the center of a dedicated high-ceilinged room larger than most homes. Intricate gilding covered every surface, from the massive columns to the… Continue reading One Wrong Move

Bury the Truth at the Lunhili Graveyard

The red-eyed double suns glared down on the scrap planet Lunhili. An acidic rain drizzled down from diffuse clouds, turning to steam upon the scorched bodies of dead starships and reenacting memories of their glory days when they'd navigated the likes of the Omega Nebula in the name of humanity. But those days were over.… Continue reading Bury the Truth at the Lunhili Graveyard

Beneath the Snow of Jetzt

The lander rocked gently as it descended toward Jetzt, the capital city of Schwarzer Regen, a tidally locked world on the fringe in an unremarkable system. "Sloppy flying," chided Ambassador Sterne. "This is how they greet the son of Grand Empress Sonne IV?" Hoff, slovenly splayed over a lounger, drink in hand, said, "Excellent flying.… Continue reading Beneath the Snow of Jetzt

Transcending Asija

It was chaos. Asija-36 knew that, but knowing a thing provided little comfort when you were between its jaws. The deviations were becoming increasingly difficult to mask. The human mind is not a closed system, but turn the clock back far enough and you reach a single cell. Limited components: organelles and proteins, themselves made… Continue reading Transcending Asija

Canaries

Trent never committed a crime, but he found himself a convict anyway. Wasn't uncommon. He'd heard one in five citizens across the empire was a convict now—more than starvation, or even Phlox Syndrome. It was probably all exaggerated, but for every grain of salt there was a grain of truth to go with it. The… Continue reading Canaries

The Right Price

The six-worlds rule had been a fact of life for thousands of years. It predated even the Solidarity. Long enough that no one questioned it anymore. It was a fact that turned a healthy profit for savvy pilots like Kadence. She wasn't famous, but those in the know knew her. The six-worlds rule said that no… Continue reading The Right Price

Justice on the Last Colony

Somethin big had happened. It seemed to be the only thing anyone could talk about, but at the same time no one knew anything. It was all speculation. Maren was aboard a no-frills public transport, the Velodona, headed for Buckminster on the ringstation around Argelander Aleph out in the halo—she was keeping a low profile—when the… Continue reading Justice on the Last Colony

Inhospitus

The air scrubbers in the hab needed a little time to cycle, so Henry took his submarine for a jaunt. There was no land on Inhospitus. It was a world covered in an ocean of acid that constantly burned across its surface where it interacted with the volatile air. It was a completely restricted planet;… Continue reading Inhospitus

Everywhere She Went

The Overlight were best known for their disdain of the uninitiated. They didn't much care to have nonbelievers fouling up their meticulously crafted masterpieces. Truth be told, Kris wasn't too keen on being here either, even transiently, but there's no such thing as a closed system—stellar or otherwise. There's always a certain amount of bleed… Continue reading Everywhere She Went

Permanent Provisionals

Everyone assumed Karaka was from Karaka—somewhat understandably—but in fact she was not. All of her grandparents had emigrated from the Karaka system as young adults. Like her parents, Karaka was born in the light of Yed Prior, and technically that's where her citizenship remained. In another month she would legally become a citizen of the… Continue reading Permanent Provisionals