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

Abandonist Massacre

The flames in the night lit the right half of Mercia's blood-splattered face, mirroring the gibbous moon that shined above, disinterested in the plights of lesser humans. The ground shook mightily as another rocket exploded on its launchpad on the other side of the complex. Mercia picked herself up, pumped the charging primer on her… Continue reading Abandonist Massacre

Strange Creatures

"I hear there's creatures out here," said Vangel, his voice taking on a sinister quality through the synthesis of his helmet. The alien ground crunched underfoot like snow. But it was not snow. In the midnight darkness, snaking flows of viscous upwelling crisscrossed the rocky plain. The flows were dimly luminescent, whatever they were, and… Continue reading Strange Creatures

Easy Targets

The missionaries crossed the dull gray landscape slowly, their buggy straining with the weight of their supplies, even at this low gravity. Easy targets. Eunomia was well past its boomtown days. The ringwoodite deposits, rich in hydrates, had all been depleted and shipped across the Belt. It was a cruel irony, then, that generations later… Continue reading Easy Targets

House Cleaning

The house was unoccupied. Private Fritz and Private Altamin had cleared it in the usual way, breaking through the sliding door at the rear, securing the mostly open downstairs including the tricky closet in the half-bath, and then getting through the choke point made by the staircase to check the loft and two bedrooms upstairs.… Continue reading House Cleaning

No Vacation

They were less than a klick from the structure and Yebin was already holding them back. Desh made it ten paces before he realized her footfalls over the soft leaves had ceased behind him, and he turned to find her staring into the sky with her arms in the air like a child who wanted… Continue reading No Vacation