He slammed the door shut behind him with a sound like thunder that rolled its way up the cramped and haphazard buildings of the city. He'd lost a shoe. Yuzuru's socked foot found a puddle in the darkness and warm rancid-smelling splashed up his legs. It would have made him sick if he'd the time… Continue reading To Die Again In This Alleyway
A Collection of Martian Antiquities
"Can I just tell you something?" The detective removed his rain-soaked wide brim hat and plunked it on top of tall shipping crate. Water pooled and soaked into the splintery pine. The crate held an ancient statue that most would consider priceless. But Viktor wasn't most: he set the price at $480 million. "I would… Continue reading A Collection of Martian Antiquities
For most of human history—going back tens of thousands of years—murder was something that happened up close. The driving of a dagger into the heart of another meant feeling through the hilt the resistance of rib bones and sinew to the blade. If to die by the sword was a bloody and horrifying fate, it… Continue reading Artificial Fear
The sun was just coming up over the foothills between the distant angular forms of the archologies. It tinged the sand and snow orange and pink. Marsha stood atop the smoking hull of the downed mech, listening to the screams from within. The bent cylinder of a hydraulic actuator prevented the escape hatch from opening… Continue reading Four Graves
It started with a bar fight. I don’t remember what started the swinging, but I do know that I swung first, and I did it with a double rocks glass in my hand. Dark liquor and darker blood covered the big man’s droopy, drawn-out face and sharp little pebbles of glass scattered over the floorboards.… Continue reading Half Done
||Error S712: continuum rupture|| //Launching «backfire» subroutine /Analyzing\ ||Irretrievable chronology|| //Executing «retrojaunt» /Setting delta minima\ ||-1 minute|| ||Fuel: sufficient|| /Scanning jaunt chamber\ ||Lifeforms: negative|| /Triggering\ ||INSTABILITY|| /Override: authority «backfire»\ /Triggering\ ||Complete|| /Temporal preservation cooldown: trigger lockout\ «retrojaunt»\\ /Analyzing\ ||Stable chronology|| ||Lifeforms: positive|| ||Security breach|| //Executing «retrojaunt» ||Trigger lockout|| «retrojaunt»\\ //Executing security protocol «blue lambda» ||Antagonists:… Continue reading Subroutine
It looked like there were two bodies, but it’s always hard to tell in these cases. They were like cherry popsicles on the pavement on the Fourth of July: a sticky red mess you tried your best not to step in. I’d seen it before. More times than I cared to count. Perfect case record,… Continue reading Redacted
The Third Age of Sail
The First Age of Sail lasted for 400 years, marking a period when wind-powered ocean vessels were the principal means of human commerce before the rise of steam engines. The Second Age of Sail was a reaction to rising average global temperatures. Wind propulsion, combined with the advent of electric battery technology, again dominated mercantile… Continue reading The Third Age of Sail
"There is only one true God," said the Exoform, addressing the prisoners. "You gonna tell us it's you?" shouted a man with more courage and less sense than I. "No," said the Exoform. "The only God is Entropy." And then it vaporized the man. Slowly. I dared not turn away, but I unfocused my eyes… Continue reading Dead Matter
Was It Something I Said?
Ambassador Neph sat in the partitioned meeting room aboard the Diplomacy II, bouncing her heels off the floor. She wiped off her sweaty palms on her pant legs. Every time she realized her legs were bouncing she would stop, only to soon realize they'd started again. The door on the other side of the transparent partition… Continue reading Was It Something I Said?