An Uneasy Alliance

The snowfall was heavy. The flakes were large enough to be feathers, like a flock of white-winged sky-spanning birds was on a migratory path just above the battered tree tops, the rhythmic pulsing of the wind further evidence of beating wings. It was a pity about the trees; trees don't even grow here. Wreckage. Hull… Continue reading An Uneasy Alliance

Keep No One Close, Especially Your Enemies

Navy Samarasinghe was the baddest assassin in all of human space. She'd been born on old Earth and managed to claw her way out of that burning cesspool, which is about the roughest start someone could get these days. It meant she was tough, smart, and plenty willing to get her hands dirty. Of course,… Continue reading Keep No One Close, Especially Your Enemies

Lifespark

The jungles of Venus II were lush and verdant, much more so even than Earth II. The exoplanets were given rather uncreative traditional names that had more to do with history and orbital alignments than habitability. But the air here was still deadly acidic to fragile human lungs, so at least that was one thing… Continue reading Lifespark

A98 in Progress

The city was bedding down for the night; the city of analysts and wrench-turners, of school children and factory workers and project managers, that is. The Night City—that parasite that succeeded in entangling itself within and around its daytime sibling without strangling it, that sunless city of teal-lighted windows scattered among the daytime's disused towers… Continue reading A98 in Progress

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

Something Drastic

As she pulled them apart with her mind, one by one, the soldiers naturally, inevitably, were drawn to her. They believed they were made of bone and flesh and sinew, but Ayla saw beyond it. The soldiers, like all other things—living, dead, or somewhere in bewtween (where most things dwelled)—like Ayla herself, were made of… Continue reading Something Drastic

Canaries

Cruelly, when Baz lost all of his external senses, he retained his ability to be afraid. What they say is true: when one sense fades, the others sharpen in compensation. This left Baz in a state of terror inaccessible to the average person. Though, Baz was an average soldier, which is something else entirely. His… Continue reading Canaries

A Tale to Tell

The gnarled tangles of swamp brush refused to bend or break, forcing Cliff Asna to make his way forward in a zigzagging fashion like an old drunkard. It was cold and it was dark, but it was no use at all being caught in the open during daylight hours—Betelgeuse would fry your suit and broil… Continue reading A Tale to Tell

When It Rains

The facility was enormous—fifteen miles to a side according to the odometer—and, after circling the entire complex in an old battery-converted Jeep, Dustin resigned to the fact that there'd be no easy way in. High steel-and-concrete walls left no gaps in the perimeter. The various and spread out gates all looked the same: impregnable. He… Continue reading When It Rains

Don’t Touch

It looked like a house-sized tumor. It was a fleshy mass that twitched and oozed thick scarlet fluids and puffed out gases at intervals. The whole thing had a clear sheen like raw pork shoulder. The two scientists and their military escort were too amazed to retch at the otherwise disgusting glob that filled the… Continue reading Don’t Touch