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

Unbound in the Shade

"Entering the Shade in 30 seconds," said Ecliptious, the Resolution's onboard AI. It was the smartest member of the crew—though they were all gifted scientists and explorers—even bound as it was. The risks of this mission were unknown, but the risks of an unbound AI were well understood. The mission proceeded, and Ecliptious remained bound. No… Continue reading Unbound in the Shade

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

Where Life Goes

Magma oozed down the hillside to the basalt plains upon which Rose stood waiting. Flakes of sulfur fell in what would always look to her like slow motion, but was really a natural motion that exposed her Earth-centric bias. It could hardly be avoided, but she tried to mentally call herself out when she noticed… Continue reading Where Life Goes

From the Garden

At 12 years old, Liam felt older than his parents. The other kids at school had the same feeling. Reality was right here, right now, all around them. But the only thing the grown-ups had any interest in was a fantasy of the past. Earth. Climate change. The draft. So what? The future was at… Continue reading From the Garden

Green Bombs

"Officials in the EU today confirmed that the port town of Vidin, Bulgaria is the latest in a string of recent cities to mandate evacuations after the explosion of a suspected dirty bomb. Over the last 19 days, similar devices have been detonated in: Kanpur, India; Belém, Brazil; and Ningbo, China. While no one has… Continue reading Green Bombs

Escaping the Nonpareil

Sparks came down like molten rain. Drea ran through the neon smoke and darkness, clawing at the air in front of her. Sometimes she caught stray cables hanging like cobwebs, or severed ducts that breathed hot steam onto her face, but mostly she only swatted uselessly at the emptiness. The Nonpareil was bleeding to death, but… Continue reading Escaping the Nonpareil

Blue Skies Ahead

Up ahead the sky was baby blue. Fortunately, between Karta and the sun were long white stretches of high cumulonimbus clouds with inflamed charcoal-filled underbellies. If she only looked up she could almost mistake it for Earth, as long as the clouds held out anyway. But the wind was picking up. It was supposed to… Continue reading Blue Skies Ahead

Knowledge Density

It's complicated. The Separatists are fragmented, largely decentralized, naturally. But they're political dissidents, nonviolent except the most extreme offshoots, like those out in Alpha Crucis, or the lessor known and more radical sect at Mintaka. It was the Mintaka group that bombed the hospital on Amaranth Station, a residential outpost well within the Federation's borders.… Continue reading Knowledge Density

Shells on Shaula

Polonium was coming down like snow. Big flakes were torn apart by the little dust devils that ran around causing chaos in the daylight hours. The constant reactions between the radioactive flakes and the atmosphere gave everything a flickering blue glow. It would have been beautiful if it weren't lethal. Kellyn stalked the streets virtually… Continue reading Shells on Shaula