A Scar Upon Our Souls

Shune and Dobar watched from a ledge under the chilly shade of one of the valley's iconic monadnocks, the Five Sisters. Standing motionless in the coppery hues of early morning was an Interfederal Argema-373 passenger ship, its body retracted over its folded legs. It looked like a 3,000-ton chrome mosquito. Shune shivered with disgust and… Continue reading A Scar Upon Our Souls

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

Meeting Your Maker

What would have been a simple excavation on Earth took more than nine years at Sinus Iridum. Still, it was worth the extra effort to be the first xenoarchaeologist. He'd sold all his worldly possessions, alienated his family, and watched his coworkers turn into tentative friends and then into casualties as Luna did its very… Continue reading Meeting Your Maker

Pestilence Is Thy Name

Willow stepped backward onto the ledge and held the vial high over her head. The detective tossed his gun aside and held his open palms in the air, speaking in soothing tones. "Come down off that ledge. Let's just talk. I don't think you want to do this." He was wrong. She did want to… Continue reading Pestilence Is Thy Name

Ghosts of the First Era

A fog rolled in between the sheer face of the cliff and the jagged limestone columns that towered over the valley, riding a sulfur breeze that tickled the nose. She hadn't understood what all the fuss was about, but now that she was here, Elise was spooked. She wiped her sweaty palms on her pants,… Continue reading Ghosts of the First Era

Mysterious Ways

Shetesh stood just behind the Diviness Hava, the two of them inversions of the many stalactites hanging threateningly above them. The holy river that ran through the cavern below was aflame. The particulates in the smoke cast staticky shadows on the rough golden walls. "What does it mean?" Hava asked her attendant. Shetesh grinned and… Continue reading Mysterious Ways

A Proper Burial

Y'reen gathered his children; his two daughters, Roon and Afaya, and his youngest, Cratio, not yet himself a man. "I want a proper burial," he told them. "Like our ancestors." Afaya bit her lower lip and turned to her sister. She followed Roon like illness follows the elderly, still to this day. "Of course," said… Continue reading A Proper Burial

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

In Need of Forgiveness

Luther kicked in the cathedral door. It was the only part of Concordance Station that was permitted to forego the triple-redundant locking hatchways required of all other passageways—granted by popular vote, the fools. His left arm was dead below the shoulder, and his right was preoccupied keeping pressure over the fresh hole in the side… Continue reading In Need of Forgiveness

With Only Moons to Bear Witness

The sulfur sky was a thin fog that smeared the horizon like finger paint and turned the three moons—Miya, Dota, and Castelor—to triplet discs devoid of definition. It smelled like pig shit. Jorge tried not to talk to keep the taste out of his mouth. "How far you think that tower is?" asked Dom. Jorge… Continue reading With Only Moons to Bear Witness