The Scald

A lone, dark skeleton walked the Scald. The surface was made of standing waves the color of burnt cinnamon, cooked enough to stop from flowing, but not enough to blacken. The crust floated over an ocean of churning magma like a patella cut from its tendons. The skeleton thought it was supposed to have a… Continue reading The Scald

Hard Landings

Captain Filippa Bartlett of the asteroid mining vessel The Devil's Sooty Brother was bringing her ship down for a surface landing. Problem was, The Devil's Sooty Brother wasn't meant for suborbital flight. Teardrop shapes had the same air resistance as a cube in the emptiness of space, and the cube was a much more convenient shape to… Continue reading Hard Landings

Trouble Downwell

Captain Miim Sesset bonked her face shield with the bow of her wrist, absently trying to wipe the sweat from her brow. They didn't prepare her for this bullshit back at the academy. The countdown timer was hard to read with her cockpit in blackout mode, but she knew there was under a minute to… Continue reading Trouble Downwell

Not Today

This was all because of a notebook. A small one; fit in the palm of your hand. Black. Hardbacked. Quantum biolock; secure. Rin took great pains to not get involved in her passengers' business. She'd built a reputation around it, but now, because of that awful notebook she was extremely, hopelessly, inextricably involved. The notebook… Continue reading Not Today

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

Enjoy the View

A gamma wind was blowing and energetic particles bounced off the hull like hail. Phaedra adjusted the compensators using the control cluster on her Spark-44 Recon Corvette. "Picking up some chop," she said. She was flying point in the arrowhead formation with her four squadmates on her rear flanks at right angles from each other.… Continue reading Enjoy the View

Two Options

He'd tried everything he could, and he was down to a choice between two options: jettison the cargo hold and make an emergency landing, or crash, killing everyone on board. Abe had no desire to be responsible for anyone's death, most of all his own. It was a crucial decision, and to him, not a… Continue reading Two Options

Studying the Veracruz Coast

"This is Sr. Navcom Technician Hugo Shaw, acting pilot of the Veracruz Coast." His full round cheeks jiggled just a little as he spoke. Beads of sweat stuck to the roots of his combed back black hair along the top of his forehead. "I am acting on orders from Chief Pilot Erica Vance, who was executed… Continue reading Studying the Veracruz Coast

Sugar Rush

Ruth picked up the emptied plates from around the galley table, trying to remember each woman's name as she gathered utensils and cups: Cherry had the red hair, and Tootsie had a gap between her big front teeth and had an accent from the outer colonies, Kat was a tank made out of muscle and… Continue reading Sugar Rush

Absentia

Cade awoke beneath the clear dome of the transport. It was nighttime, but the blizzard held its own soft luminescence, vaguely purple. It felt like the storm was on the wrong side of a snow globe. He shifted in his seat, his leg sore from the prolonged nap in a strange position. "We're almost there,"… Continue reading Absentia