Return of the Maleficarum

As a young man, Rich Speyer thought he'd seen the last of the Maleficarum. At the time, he commanded the special joint task force responsible for the Sweep—the rounding up of the dissenters, the objectionists, the pacifists, the skulking members of the anti-party-party, and shuttling them off world to take their deviant ideas to the stars.… Continue reading Return of the Maleficarum

Stealing Secrets From the Dead

She didn't feel a pulse, and he wasn't breathing. He was dead; the dumb kid was dead. But River wasn't about to call the authorities. Her little 27-hour tea shop enjoyed the best Net connection on the planet because she'd tapped into the government hardline by digging down to it through the basement. It made… Continue reading Stealing Secrets From the Dead

Portraits of the Patriarchy

Hayden Alico stood in the grand foyer of Alico Station's spinning torus. The grand foyer was next to the docking berths—it was meant to impress. But it had never impressed her. She climbed the imposing regal staircase, with its hand carved banisters and silver inlays emphasizing the theme of dynastic power, until she reached the… Continue reading Portraits of the Patriarchy

Tête-à-tête dans les Toilettes

There were two stalls, and the first was occupied. Ambassador Han preferred to use the toilet in private, but he didn't have time to be choosy. Something wasn't sitting right in his stomach—probably those ugly land lobsters they served raw last night. Damn outworld food. He finished his business and reached for a sanitary square,… Continue reading Tête-à-tête dans les Toilettes

Jubilee

Jay and Warren sat above 352nd Avenue, their feet dangling 1,500 meters in the air as they ate sandwiches and synthetic fruit from their lunch pails. They worked third shift; it was just after nightfall. "The Jubilee holiday is coming up--you have any plans?" asked Warren. The big man crossed his ankles and swung his… Continue reading Jubilee

Dust to Dust

For all his political posturing and his penchant for charismatic public overtures, Leon Brault was having second thoughts. It wasn't an ideological shift he was experiencing, but an awareness of his survival instinct. He was close enough now to see the Artifact with his own eyes, separated only by a few kilometers and 4mm of… Continue reading Dust to Dust