Höllengarten

Ewelina was being punished for something. She just wasn't sure what. She patrolled the bottom side of the disc wrapping around the refinery's central pillar, sweeping her eyes over the electric aquamarine skies. Thunderheads the size of the Matterhorn angrily slid past, kept at a manageable distance by the positive pressure bubble the generators ceaselessly… Continue reading Höllengarten

Let’s Do This Again Real Soon

The night was black and starless. Even the moon dared not sail that darkened sky. But below, New Manzhouli's neon glow dazzled, cold and bright. Yuxi stood in the in-between. She could be a phoenix rising from electric ashes, or the angel of death descending from the heavens into the City of Dis. Tonight, she… Continue reading Let’s Do This Again Real Soon

Critical Resolution

"War's over," said Commander Cotton. I'd never seen her so grim. I remained laying on my cot, having long ago learned how far I could push against the power dynamic between us, even as our relationship evolved into one of mutual understanding if not respect. "Well then, congratulations. What was the final nail?" "Your acting-chief… Continue reading Critical Resolution

Coming in Hot

"Let's just cool off and talk in a few days, right? I lo—...well, goodbye." That slimy son of a bitch almost said I love you. Martin had spoken that lie so many times it was habitual. If he was in front of her right now she might kill him. He wasn't, of course, but he would… Continue reading Coming in Hot

Morals of a Gun for Hire

"This isn't right." "Not this shit again," growled Kendall, "not now. We've been over this: they're not people." Zaine and Seren kept working. They'd heard it before and didn't want to hear it again, though Leon suspected they agreed with him on some level. He was all about pinching mint from the Fedcorp, but murder… Continue reading Morals of a Gun for Hire

Taking From the Water Cartel

Ivy flew down the stairs three at a time. Her palms sweated, but at each landing she managed to keep her grip on the metal handrail as she whipped herself around 180 degrees toward the next flight. The railings were cold, and getting colder as she descended. Her bare feet made slapping sounds on the… Continue reading Taking From the Water Cartel

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

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

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

A98 in Progress

The city was bedding down for the night; the city of analysts and wrench-turners, of school children and factory workers and project managers, that is. The Night City—that parasite that succeeded in entangling itself within and around its daytime sibling without strangling it, that sunless city of teal-lighted windows scattered among the daytime's disused towers… Continue reading A98 in Progress