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

Avatar of the Apostle

Eliza padded barefoot along the glass-smooth deck, humming softly to herself on her way to the simulum. He was waiting for her when she arrived. Right on time. He always appeared when she'd find him most distasteful. The Avatar of the Apostle. She walked right through him—his voxels exploding and reassembling in her wake—and took… Continue reading Avatar of the Apostle

What Grows in the Orchard

Kartika walked through the soft grass of her family's orchard, smiling as the sun warmed her shoulders. The first promise of autumn was in the breeze. It was nearly time to harvest. Even with her prescription sunglasses she had to squint against the multifaceted reflections of the sun. Rainbow prisms flitted in her periphery vision… Continue reading What Grows in the Orchard

Mother Sea Turtle

Admiral Pak entered the committee chamber like she were riding a chariot pulled by fire-breathing Andalusian stallions. "Whose brainchild is this abomination?" She pointed at the holo of Monumenta hovering above the conference table, reflected in its glassy onyx finish. The various officials and councilors bristled at her accent: Sol system. They'd all been there,… Continue reading Mother Sea Turtle

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

Life Ensurance

Janice tried to set down her wine glass and steady herself against the countertop at the same time. The result was a glittering galaxy of imported handblown glass shards across the pristine granite floor and an expanding pool of aged cabernet. But at least she hadn't fallen and injured herself. That was suddenly of paramount… Continue reading Life Ensurance

My Summer Vacation

"Next up is Leighton Decker." Leighton walked to the front of the class, dragging her feet as she walked so that her polka-dotted boots—her favorites, though entirely out of season—scraped loudly against the coarse carpeting. Twenty-three blank faces stared at her in wait. By the end of the year she'd be able to perform the… Continue reading My Summer Vacation

52 Pickup

"What do you think, Spaulderski? Still feeling lucky?" "Oh yeah. There's money in the river. I can already feel those coins weighing down my pockets." "Nah, you're just feeling the double portion of dessert you had last night." Specialist Spaulderski rolled his eyes and smiled sheepishly. "That's right; I saw that shit." "Just deal it,… Continue reading 52 Pickup

Deathmind

"You are the Deathmind." Tul shivers, though the humid blackness that envelopes him is warm. A salivating steel maw. The solitary red point of light shifts in an implacable way. "A weak statement, more so for its implications than its approximations." It hurt just to hear the Deathmind speak, like its voice turned Tul's bones… Continue reading Deathmind