Won’t Hurt a Bit

Colin grabbed the kid. Kid—that's how Colin thought of him, but of course he was a grown man. A grown man was any man old enough to bear the full weight of the consequences of his actions, even if that weight crushed him. And a kid, well, a kid was anyone who chose the wrong… Continue reading Won’t Hurt a Bit

Return to Paramount

Kace entered the tavern beside the unlicensed spaceport south of New Pennet on Adenin. It was dim inside, and the twin suns at midday turned him into a silhouette in the doorway. For that brief moment, the patrons paid him no mind. He looked human enough. But after he stepped inside and the door fell… Continue reading Return to Paramount

The Body

"We're here to collect," said the short guy with the pinched rodent face, widow's peak, and black bomber jacket with the cuffs rolled up. Fleur shifted in her high back upholstered leather chair behind an oak desk that was reinforced with steel plating and carbon fiber to catch bullets when the need inevitably came, and… Continue reading The Body

A Serious Problem

Its face was a putrid shade of orange, like fruit gone to rot. It had only the most basic impression of the necessary features—eyes, nose, and flat mouth—but lacked detail. No wrinkles, no whiskers, no creases or blemishes, no freckles or scars or tired bags beneath the eyes. The lack of definition made the flecks… Continue reading A Serious Problem

Murder on Oasis 4320

It had been a million years since the last star stopped shining and the sky darkened forever. Michael didn't think much about it; he was born thirty thousand generations too late to know the difference. Besides, when the sky turned dark, we turned our backs on the sky. We clustered around the darkest parts of… Continue reading Murder on Oasis 4320

Trouble Is Where You Look for It

Priscilla swished the whiskey back and forth over her tongue in time with the pulsing neon lights and the bassy, synth-heavy music that swirled around the club. It was packed tonight, and she was in one of her moods. She was looking for a specific brand of trouble. She shouted to the bartender, "Another double,"… Continue reading Trouble Is Where You Look for It

Gravedigger

"Start digging graves," Dalton told the Lacuna Populous' android attendant. "Graves?" Dalton dropped the legs of the body he was dragging onto the deck and they thudded dully one after the other. He turned his irritated gaze to the android and rubbed his dark, thick beard. "Holes. Outside. To put the bodies in. Find something to… Continue reading Gravedigger

Hell to Pay

Riazi sat on the rustic hardwood floor with her back against the foot of the couch and her knees drawn up to her chest. The ashtray on the floor beside her was overflowing with butts and ash. She lit up another cigarette anyway. It was frivolous, but it helped her feel human. Which, of course,… Continue reading Hell to Pay

Abandonist Massacre

The flames in the night lit the right half of Mercia's blood-splattered face, mirroring the gibbous moon that shined above, disinterested in the plights of lesser humans. The ground shook mightily as another rocket exploded on its launchpad on the other side of the complex. Mercia picked herself up, pumped the charging primer on her… Continue reading Abandonist Massacre

Wandering on Hinterland

Harper sat sullenly at the top of the habitat's spire, looking out above the canopy as the first—and brightest—of Hinterland's two suns tucked itself below the horizon. At least it would cool off a little. She took the stairs down to the surface level, passing Brielle in the mudroom leading to the garage. "I'm going… Continue reading Wandering on Hinterland