Mapping the Tetra

"Seen one Tetra, seen 'em all. What'd I tell you?" "More than I asked for," said Pia. "I hired a pilot, not a color commentator. Stay the course." The impossible bulk of a Predecessor Tetra loomed before them, a lightyear to a side and as smooth and as black as any human tool could measure.… Continue reading Mapping the Tetra

Morals of a Gun for Hire

"This isn't right." "Not this shit again," growled Kendall, "not now. We've been over this: they're not people." Zaine and Seren kept working. They'd heard it before and didn't want to hear it again, though Leon suspected they agreed with him on some level. He was all about pinching mint from the Fedcorp, but murder… Continue reading Morals of a Gun for Hire

Ghosts of Tomorrow

The Empress of the SUGRA Skies sunbathed at a hangar on Eta Convex while Sawyer watched from the shadows. He stood to stave off the urge to sleep. He could rest when he was back on board, after the next jump, but not now. Not while there were hands other than his own touching the Empress. The… Continue reading Ghosts of Tomorrow

The Message and the Messenger

Ian paced down the triangular corridors of the deep space listening outpost like an agitated lion at the zoo. Three walls. Three-month rotations. Three shifts with three technicians each. Threes must be important, so he checked his work every three hours. Didn't leave much time for sleep, but he didn't want to sleep. The nightmares… Continue reading The Message and the Messenger

Sim Test

"Detective Keller, have a seat." The captain's eyes skimmed over a holo screen visible only to him. Case files, crime scene photos, precinct statistics; who knows? Could've been porn. Keller didn't really care. He wasn't the judgmental type. Wasn't a judge. He was an executioner. He sat at the captain's desk and waited. The captain… Continue reading Sim Test

Loose Ends

Abe stood on the highest ledge atop the butte and regarded the exposed rock layers across the canyon. It had been a long time since he'd really stopped to look at them. A long time. A lot had happened. If you'd never been to 42 Orions B—no one could agree on a suitable permanent name,… Continue reading Loose Ends

Avatar of the Apostle

Eliza padded barefoot along the glass-smooth deck, humming softly to herself on her way to the simulum. He was waiting for her when she arrived. Right on time. He always appeared when she'd find him most distasteful. The Avatar of the Apostle. She walked right through him—his voxels exploding and reassembling in her wake—and took… Continue reading Avatar of the Apostle

Another Atonement

Esrik was unfamiliar with the customs of Capella II, and none more so than the religions. But, he thought as he stood at the steps of the Onyx Temple of Connectedness, they're all generally the same. He could get what he needed here. He climbed the steps and the grand doors parted for him. The… Continue reading Another Atonement

Body Builder

Arsen was building a new body. The process was tedious and incremental, but an improvement over the natural way, he supposed. And this was no new life he was bringing into the world; just a vessel. A vessel through which he might live on. It helped that he'd finally settled on a new name: Luciana.… Continue reading Body Builder

FNG

"My God, I think I'm gonna be sick." M4<^>w? looked down at its new trainee with disdain. It didn't show on its face, but it felt it. The apertures adjusted on its six ocular inputs, arranged vertically on the face of its elongated head, in an impression of a squint. "God had nothing to do… Continue reading FNG