A Simple Scam

The metal container was the size of an old refrigerator and weighed a lot more. If it weren't for her exo she would have had no chance of moving it, not all at once. And Alexa only wanted to do this once. One big payday. It was a simple scam. It really started 150 years… Continue reading A Simple Scam

“Let’s go for a bike ride.”

"Let's go for a bike ride." With that simple sentence, Paulo Acosta unwittingly found himself at the center of a conspiracy that spanned a galactic empire and served to hide the cracks in the foundation of a body of law built over 300 centuries. He would expose and destroy not only the dark and vicious… Continue reading “Let’s go for a bike ride.”

Scatterbrained

Mary was a little scatterbrained when she found it, but that had been intentional, not to mention lucrative. She worked in the mines on a planet with the interminable name OGLE-2013-BLG-0341L B b; for whatever reason the naming rights were tangled in a legal dispute which left a situation where the planet could be mined… Continue reading Scatterbrained

A Scar Upon Our Souls

Shune and Dobar watched from a ledge under the chilly shade of one of the valley's iconic monadnocks, the Five Sisters. Standing motionless in the coppery hues of early morning was an Interfederal Argema-373 passenger ship, its body retracted over its folded legs. It looked like a 3,000-ton chrome mosquito. Shune shivered with disgust and… Continue reading A Scar Upon Our Souls

Sunset on Immaculous

Sutter awoke for the last time feeling calm. He had a twinge of anticipation in his stomach, but no remorse. His respect for the Council was impregnable, and when they sentenced him to the sunset he accepted it fully, embraced it even. The stories say it's beautiful. The garden world of Immaculous had been spared… Continue reading Sunset on Immaculous

Return of the Maleficarum

As a young man, Rich Speyer thought he'd seen the last of the Maleficarum. At the time, he commanded the special joint task force responsible for the Sweep—the rounding up of the dissenters, the objectionists, the pacifists, the skulking members of the anti-party-party, and shuttling them off world to take their deviant ideas to the stars.… Continue reading Return of the Maleficarum

The Encryption Ward

Sawyer Trill was intuitive, observant, and a quick learner. He was a talented coder. Dealt a different hand he could have led a comfortable happy life. Instead, the most responsible role model he'd had was his mom's hush dealer—guy called himself the Glass Man, and everyone else did too because his real name didn't matter.… Continue reading The Encryption Ward

Absentia

Cade awoke beneath the clear dome of the transport. It was nighttime, but the blizzard held its own soft luminescence, vaguely purple. It felt like the storm was on the wrong side of a snow globe. He shifted in his seat, his leg sore from the prolonged nap in a strange position. "We're almost there,"… Continue reading Absentia

Milo Meets the Civilgorithm

On the day before my 15th birthday, it occurred to my father that perhaps I was not ready. "Milo," he asked, "what will you tell the civilgorithm tomorrow? How could you best serve your life?" "I don't know," I said. He scolded me harshly, planting little seeds in my arms and back with his fists… Continue reading Milo Meets the Civilgorithm

Copies of Copies

They were still called printers, but the machines were unlike anything imaginable to Gutenberg, or Galvani, or Gates. They looked like empty rooms. Drop in your raw material—didn't really matter what it was, as long as you had enough mass—and let the nanomites turn it into something else. Turn ashes into drinking water; spent power… Continue reading Copies of Copies