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

Recruited

Kris sat at a small booth in a dim corner of Club Andromeda sipping a tart cocktail and puffing on an alien hookah that sent her sky high for a fleeting few seconds each time she hit it. She really didn't like it here. Wasn't her scene. But that's why she chose it; she was… Continue reading Recruited

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