Freewheeler

Brena sat by herself on the floor of her small dirt-covered habitat, sipping tea. Above her was her only window: a circular borehole filled with still water—for the radiation—terminating in a skylight. Through it was the familiar splash of the Milky Way spilled across the night sky. She didn't look up. Didn't need to. A… Continue reading Freewheeler

Accidental Ambassador

She sat alone in the observatory, drinking coffee and watching the 11-dimensional universe unfurl itself around her ship like a kaleidoscope exploding inside a mirror maze during a fireworks show. It was so very strange. The coffee, that is; not foldspace. She never used to like coffee, let alone without an aggressive amount of cream… Continue reading Accidental Ambassador

No One Dreams of War

The old woman trembled in her chair on the lawn beneath the dimmer orange light of the night sun. She breathed heavy, and soon the breathing became troubled murmuring and her body rocked mightily. Kashton set down his book upside down, keeping his page, and approached quickly but carefully, making sure not to surprise her… Continue reading No One Dreams of War

Blackout

Tori woke up like a pot left to boil over, lurching up and gasping from a nightmare immediately forgotten. Her eyes were hot and dry and crusted firmly shut from the dew drops she used last night. The high was second-to-none, but you always paid for it in the morning. She picked the goop from… Continue reading Blackout

You’re Not Yourself

Meredith Aves looked upon her husband's ashen face through a veil of hot amber sparks that erupted in the space between them. His voice carried a dread she'd never before heard as he asked her pleadingly, "Are my eyes open?" She awoke with a start and barely suppressed a scream. Carter was standing beside the… Continue reading You’re Not Yourself

Waking the Clockmakers

I had that fever dream again. I'm walking around the habitat. My feet make hard clicking sounds against the floor, but I can't look down to see why. I'm too busy looking at all the corpses. It's the rest of the team: Wilkens, Kang, Singh, Tenderman, and Din. They're all going about their jobs, cleaning,… Continue reading Waking the Clockmakers

Right on Schedule

Lena sat up gasping and reflexively covering her heart with one hand. She swallowed bitter bile, and with it her temporary confusion. It had only been a dream. No. Not only a dream—she was slipping into lucidity—a terrible memory from a lifetime ago. She had been twelve. Her smile was crooked and her bangs were… Continue reading Right on Schedule

Souvenirs From the Front

Pearl stood at the foot of her bed, staring at it with trepidation, not feeling the least bit like sleeping. She glimpsed herself in the mirror; it was getting worse. She wished Reyna were here. She was a good partner, even if she couldn't actually help. Reyna would wake Pearl from her terrors and rub… Continue reading Souvenirs From the Front

Rookie Move

It wasn't the blood that disturbed him. It was the footprints. Red imprints of the bottoms of shoes circling around and on top of each other. Red circles, and red wavy lines, and red swooshes. Blood was natural, organic, the stuff of life, but the footprints along the surgical room floor were the most unnatural… Continue reading Rookie Move