Ex Nihilo

Bloodied and battered, Raiden was dragged before the major, the rumbling of battle still reverberating through the rogue station. "Professor Laurel?" "That's awfully formal for the occasion." He spat on the major's tactical boots. A gash above his hairline dripped fresh blood through the canyons of deep wrinkles across his face--more than she would have… Continue reading Ex Nihilo

Deathmind

"You are the Deathmind." Tul shivers, though the humid blackness that envelopes him is warm. A salivating steel maw. The solitary red point of light shifts in an implacable way. "A weak statement, more so for its implications than its approximations." It hurt just to hear the Deathmind speak, like its voice turned Tul's bones… Continue reading Deathmind

A Bad Way to Go

"Goddammit, Darian! Let. Me. In. That's an order!" She pounded on the plexiglass partition, leaving a sticky palm-shaped residue like strawberry preserves. Ensign Darian Harn knew that he was safe on this side of the airlock, but he took two steps back anyway, bracing himself against the back of the flight chair. "I can't do that,… Continue reading A Bad Way to Go

Professional Courtesy

"Captain Itsu to the cockpit, please." There was no acknowledgement, but moments later there were two klanks against the hatch. I buzzed him in. "Problem, Aviator?" I looked back over my shoulder, past the captain, at the squadron seated in the cabin, and then nodded at the co-pilot's chair. He made his aggravation known but… Continue reading Professional Courtesy

If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Seek Vengeance

General Welkar took the podium. "Congratulations, cadets. You are still here. When I addressed this group a year ago, you numbered more than a thousand. And now? Thirty. Those others did not share your grit, your intellect, your skill, or your boldness. They quit. They were cut. Some believed they had no limits, and they… Continue reading If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Seek Vengeance

The Day That Lasted Forever

You're tired. Sure, you haven't slept in 22 days, but that's not the source of your exhaustion--you might not ever sleep again and you wouldn't miss it a bit. No, the problem is the repetition. The unending déjà vu on top of déjà vu, like standing between two mirrors, surrounded by infinite reflections of yourself.… Continue reading The Day That Lasted Forever

Keeping Score

Once we cracked it we became unstoppable. Most people thought we were unstoppable before, but that's only because it had been so long since we'd been stopped. We were only overwhelming back then--still impressive, but not quite the same as unstoppable. Our chances of ever losing another battle went from non-zero to zero. It was a… Continue reading Keeping Score