New Moon

Wikus stared up at the Moon, and half a billion refugees stared back. He couldn't help but think of his grandfather, Papa. He would have been proud. The atmosphere within the domed city atop Olympus Mons was thin; not for being on Mars or even for its elevation, but for the allocations underway. Olympus Prime… Continue reading New Moon

The Devil’s Playground

Winged saber-toothed T-Rex. Those were the words that finally convinced Colton to join his old service buddy, Matteo, on a trip to Mars. They were also the reason he'd probably die there. Darwin, colloquially known as Darwin's Playground, or simply the Playground, was a large crater in the Argyre quad, and was home to more than… Continue reading The Devil’s Playground

Feeling the Weight of Weightlessness

Gina was used to running; she was no stranger to the half-marathon. But her body was already forgetting. The old familiar rhythm felt as unbalanced as an out-of-round wheel. At first she blamed the lack of gravity. That was still the issue, but now she blamed her body. She took it personally. It was funny… Continue reading Feeling the Weight of Weightlessness

Red Planet Rustler

Now was his chance. Jeb was all alone on the far side of the ranch. He gently ran his good hand over the back of one of the large heifers and made cooing sounds as it benignly chewed its cud. Then he threw his bionic arm under its ribs and lifted. The heifer was startled… Continue reading Red Planet Rustler

Secrets, Secrets Are No Fun

A couple of years ago Maggie would have thought it wasn't fair and become despondent that the chaos of the universe had a preference for her misery. But that was the fatalistic response of a child. She was 18 now—an adult; a woman of action—and the only words that fit were this is bullshit! It was… Continue reading Secrets, Secrets Are No Fun

A Serious Problem

Its face was a putrid shade of orange, like fruit gone to rot. It had only the most basic impression of the necessary features—eyes, nose, and flat mouth—but lacked detail. No wrinkles, no whiskers, no creases or blemishes, no freckles or scars or tired bags beneath the eyes. The lack of definition made the flecks… Continue reading A Serious Problem

Buried Questions

Dr. Mae Cassendor wheeled yet another load of spoil to the heap. Sweat beads spilled from her brow down her round cheeks, and not just from the physicality of her work; her suit's heat exchanger was reaching its max. Though the outside temperature was just below freezing, the atmosphere was too thin for her suit… Continue reading Buried Questions

Reasons of Their Own

The human settlements that dotted the Martian surface with light and color and smoke were as varied as the people who built them. Mars had become a world of people, and they each came for reasons of their own. Some came for love, and some came for money. Some came to feed their wonderment, their… Continue reading Reasons of Their Own

Parasite

Max Montagne stood waiting in Admiral Como's office with an aide who didn't bother to offer him a seat. Max was used to it; even POWs get better treatment than internal affairs. That was the price you paid to have the most important job in the Accord: protect the people from the protectors. Standing suited… Continue reading Parasite

Tenacity

"Excuse me, are you Tenacity? I'm Isla." "Yes, it's lovely to meet you. Please do sit down." Tenacity was taken aback. Isla may have a Confederacy name and a Confederacy home, but certainly not the look. She was thin; not the taut lengthiness brought on by generations of sub-standard gravity, but the thinness of a… Continue reading Tenacity