Knowing the Enemy

The ice giant Rosen is only a pale crescent in the violet sky of its largest moon. Ivodus looks up and thinks it looks like the closed eye of a sleeping god. Or a dead one. This place sets off strange and indistinct memories, more feelings than specific recollections, and he doesn't like it. It… Continue reading Knowing the Enemy

The Civility

Something invisible slammed into Meralda's shoulder. Splinters of bone flew away and the force knocked her to the ground, but by the time she bounced back up she was healed. It was just surface damage. A gray sheen of nanocytes swarmed the area and laid down a thick patch of synthetic exoskeleton over the impact… Continue reading The Civility

How to Sleep for 1,000 Years

As part of his education, Praveen had to read the autobiography of Dr. Maaz Ghazali, one of the pioneers of cryonic interstellar travel. It was called How to Sleep for 1,000 Years. Interesting book, if a little dated. It didn't really cover Praveen's current dilemma, but even so, the parallels were enough to chill him to… Continue reading How to Sleep for 1,000 Years

Throw Away Your Body Parts

The fires that night were so bright that I got out of bed thinking it was sunrise. I pulled up the time out of habit, and when I saw the hour I leapt from the fold-out to the balcony door and slid it open in one explosive movement. My conapt was on the 177th floor.… Continue reading Throw Away Your Body Parts

The Last Wonder

Above, thick bundles of diamond nanotubes cut thousands of parallel vertical lines in the air, disappearing in low cloud cover. Below, the ruins. The buildings that were still standing were either skeletons or bloating, sagging corpses. Shipping containers were strewn about among the hulls of gondolas like a knocked-over bucket of Legos. Capsized ships and… Continue reading The Last Wonder

Big Wins

There was an Attack Macaque in the courtyard—AM-120 from the looks of it: forward infantry mecha, fast, and trigger happy for an AI. But that's not what worried Daiju. He was worried about the mushroom cap standing guard, so called for their umbrella-like helmets. It wasn't a nice term. Wasn't meant to be. They fancied themselves… Continue reading Big Wins

What Grows in the Orchard

Kartika walked through the soft grass of her family's orchard, smiling as the sun warmed her shoulders. The first promise of autumn was in the breeze. It was nearly time to harvest. Even with her prescription sunglasses she had to squint against the multifaceted reflections of the sun. Rainbow prisms flitted in her periphery vision… Continue reading What Grows in the Orchard

Cosmic Justice

It came down like snow. Like a blizzard, in fact, smearing the space between the cloud tops and the ground into a disorienting blur of whirling, blinding, chaotic particles. For a moment, just before descent, Ken became absorbed in the abstract motion and found it profoundly beautiful. Perhaps it was this tendency—to become transfixed by… Continue reading Cosmic Justice

Win Some, Lose Some

It was an unacceptable gambit, a proposition that ensured nearly everyone who attempted it would perish swiftly and far from home. But some might survive, and that's more than could be said about abstaining, so thy pressed ahead by the billions. See you on the other side. Yeah. Maybe. The circumstances hung heavy on the… Continue reading Win Some, Lose Some

Red-Handed

"And this is where the magic happens." Nicole swiped her access card and a green light illuminated, accompanied by a friendly electronic chirp. The locks clunked and she pulled the heavy, windowless door open to reveal the heart of operations—or the minds, rather—for Collective Intelligence Corp. She smiled brightly—she had the straight white teeth of… Continue reading Red-Handed