The Impossible

For three days and nights the deluge had been unbearable, forcing Valius and the small detachment of Excubitors he commanded to set up camp on the hillside just beyond Coven's Ford. The men grew foul without the labor of marching to distract them from the storm which pelted their tents and howled in their faces… Continue reading The Impossible

Don’t Touch

It looked like a house-sized tumor. It was a fleshy mass that twitched and oozed thick scarlet fluids and puffed out gases at intervals. The whole thing had a clear sheen like raw pork shoulder. The two scientists and their military escort were too amazed to wretch at the otherwise disgusting glob that filled the… Continue reading Don’t Touch

Coronation

The crowd was in a frenzy. The colosseum's towering reaches held a quarter of a million people, and it was over capacity with thousands more pressing in to witness this historic upheaval. They were here beneath the sweltering summer sun to see her: Supreme Commander Scandere. Barely beyond her third decade, she'd had enough blood on… Continue reading Coronation

Staying Productive

Fortunately, the Aeacus had dropped out of fourspace before taking it on the chin; if it hadn't, its pieces would be scattered from here to Pavo-Indus. There'd be nothing left to investigate. Then John Faldswell would be at home, alone in his meager apartment, spending another evening spiraling away from productive ways to stave his… Continue reading Staying Productive

Appraisal

The waiting room must have been 100°, and it was only the middle of springtime. It didn't bode well for the summer fires. There was a clean little stand with hot coffee, and hot tea. Inconvenient, but fiscally responsible, he thought. Who could afford to give away water these days? So showy. He dabbed his… Continue reading Appraisal

Agent Ouroboros

"You've done well, Captain, and you can expect your effort to be rewarded," said Ouroboros. She'd been born Olivia Shen, but she'd given up that identity along with everything else to become an Agent, one of the shadowy operatives who lived between the stars. They were the movers and shakers around whom this galaxy spun.… Continue reading Agent Ouroboros

No Prisoners

"Bring them out." Par Acaces had no question as to who the ruhl meant by them. The par gathered the feeble space-weakened prisoners, with their wet eyes and their dry elastic skin, and marched them in a shackled line off the hulking battle transport. Ruhl Shald  was waiting on the narrow bridgeway, pacing and clomping about… Continue reading No Prisoners

Lux Apocrypha

Lieutenant Colonel Randall Jung watched alone from the observation spire of his command cruiser, the Fate Arisen, as the drop ships poured from the formation of carriers by the thousands. The starfield beyond was completely blotted out. To think, such an imposing show of force, and still it would not be enough. A million soldiers… Continue reading Lux Apocrypha

Contact

Ryden sloshed through the toxic muck that sucked at his boots beneath the tangled thorn grass. It wasn't grass, of course—that was terracentric thinking—but on strange planets the mind tries to force things into familiar shapes. His unit was twelve days into its march with no obvious end. Twelve days of orange fog and swatting… Continue reading Contact

A Good Find

Unontu skipped barefoot down the dusty alley, enjoying the shelter the buildings and banners offered from the sun. He'd had a growth spurt this year and his mind hadn't adapted to his body yet. His feet thwacked loudly against the hard ground with each step. Though he looked older now, he was still on the… Continue reading A Good Find