Knowing the Enemy

The ice giant Rosen is only a pale crescent in the violet sky of its largest moon. Ivodus looks up and thinks it looks like the closed eye of a sleeping god. Or a dead one. This place sets off strange and indistinct memories, more feelings than specific recollections, and he doesn't like it. It… Continue reading Knowing the Enemy

Mr. Rupert

Dr. Chen made like she was adjusting her glasses, but she subtly pressed the record button. Sure, it wouldn't get by the ethics board, but that only meant she couldn't publish it. She would keep the recording just for her own research. It might prove invaluable. And any breakthrough could help a lot of afflicted people,… Continue reading Mr. Rupert

No Innocent People

Emera had a sick feeling in her gut from the get-go, from the very first words of the briefing, and from there it only grew in her chest like a rancid vine strangling her heart. She boarded the dropship with the rest of the platoon. They were about to descend onto a remote and undefended… Continue reading No Innocent People

After Overture

"Mind if I sit?" Lyla considered the question for longer than was polite and then caught herself. "Yes, of course." It was a semi-ambiguous answer, which was how she meant it, but she motioned to the seat across from hers anyway. "Thanks." The young man smiled cordially, set down his little tray of packets and… Continue reading After Overture

The Scald

A lone, dark skeleton walked the Scald. The surface was made of standing waves the color of burnt cinnamon, cooked enough to stop from flowing, but not enough to blacken. The crust floated over an ocean of churning magma like a patella cut from its tendons. The skeleton thought it was supposed to have a… Continue reading The Scald

Attenuation

There was a static hiss. Flickering teal light beyond his visor. His shoulder hurt—must have slept on it funny. Actually, he was oddly reclined. Anton Tereschenko swam out of a foggy dreamless sleep and into a foggy dreamlike reality. He was wearing a flight suit and strapped to a crash couch. He unlatched the harnesses… Continue reading Attenuation

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

A Powerful Motivator

0micron rebooted in the dark. When it activated its optics it was unsure if they were still functional. It tilted its face upward—assuming the gyros were still calibrated—and found a distant point of dim light. It opened its apertures and shifted down the spectrum into the infrared. It was in a deep pit after an… Continue reading A Powerful Motivator

Zyz’s Syzygy

Zyz awoke staring straight into the sun through a shattered skylight. Full charge. Elapsed down-cycle: 14:11:55.25. She remembered now wandering the tunnels for days in the dark and then scrambling to find a place to recharge before a forced shut down. In the end she'd had to tap into the aux capacitors to stay conscious;… Continue reading Zyz’s Syzygy

Memory Games

There was a high droning hum. Ice water came down in buckets like razors licking at her cheeks and shoulders and thighs. Oh, she thought, it's me; I'm screaming. I thought I was dead. "Wake up, Violet. Wake up." Her body was a vague outline in her own head, a far away pain that she was tethered… Continue reading Memory Games