Space Demons

"We call them space demons." That caught the young sergeant's attention. She shifted her stance and her fingers danced near her hip, navigating a private hologram. Taking notes. Yramus continued. "No religious connotation. It just gets the idea across." He inhaled deeply on a zenleaf cigarette. The smoke was thick and sweet like burnt sugar. Tears… Continue reading Space Demons

Chance Encounter

He appeared from the desert like a mirage, as conspicuous as a rain cloud. He wore a Colonial officer's uniform, but he was no officer. Didn't have the swagger. Lyric knew; she'd been an officer herself not so long ago. "You lost?" She stood slowly, wiping sweat from her forehead with the back of one… Continue reading Chance Encounter

Meeting Simon

They were out there again. Different van, but they were the same two guys as before, he was pretty sure. Dressed as some kind of utility workers or something, parked off to the side next to where Hampshire Street crosses the railroad tracks. Simon picked up a post-it pad and a short nub of dull… Continue reading Meeting Simon

The Seventh Moon

The six inner moons of Avalon—a typical ice giant out on the fringe—were fine places. Rocky bodies, essentially spheroids, rich in ices and metals. Good for industry, and more than capable of supporting associated settlements. But the seventh moon—that was the prize. If you could get to it. Preliminary data indicated a nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere, temperate… Continue reading The Seventh Moon

Entering the Throat of Kraken

The little boat was getting tossed around more than she'd expected and it was making her a little queasy. The reduced gravity only served to amplify the effect. Dr. Hena Hanover was entering the Throat of Kraken. Officially it was the Seldon Fretum, a narrow straight separating the northern and southern basins of Kraken Mare,… Continue reading Entering the Throat of Kraken

21st Century Sirens

Jericho felt like dogshit. His spring allergies had been especially rough, and that was before he got the call from the top. Before he'd biked home, his mind racing faster than his legs could pedal. Before he packed his shit, kissed his partner, and said, "I'll call you when I can. Hopefully soon." That was… Continue reading 21st Century Sirens

Lure

At long last, Jimenez saw the blazing white lance of the beacon in the slate green haze, and after a few more steps forward Leroux's slim profile appeared near the beacon's base. He wasn't moving. She tried hailing him. No response. No surprise; she'd been hailing him for hours. Jimenez approached carefully over the crevices… Continue reading Lure

Alphanebulon-3 and Brian

Riggs woke first, greeted by the playful chuckling of the creek and the crisp autumn smell of rain clouds coming down from the escarpment. And by a fully armored man in a long brown cape carrying some sort of weird pulse rifle. Standing beside the man was a twelve-foot blue robot looking something like a… Continue reading Alphanebulon-3 and Brian

Unbound in the Shade

"Entering the Shade in 30 seconds," said Ecliptious, the Resolution's onboard AI. It was the smartest member of the crew—though they were all gifted scientists and explorers—even bound as it was. The risks of this mission were unknown, but the risks of an unbound AI were well understood. The mission proceeded, and Ecliptious remained bound. No… Continue reading Unbound in the Shade

Just the Start

I ran down the emergency outer corridor on Lambda Deck, but it looked like all the others. The escape pods were gone. The automatic lighting was intermittent. The long-dried dark brown splatters on the white walls and floors made my heart thrash in my chest and I had to keep swallowing bile, but I refused… Continue reading Just the Start