Church of the Falling Sky

The shuttle had no windows, but the sudden lurch told Lady Verity they'd uncoupled from Saint Donovan's Interment. The temperature in the shuttle quickly rose like it was a tin can in the summer sun, heated by the tremendous friction of the descent through Lachesis' thick sulfurous atmosphere. Four centuries of landings like this had pulverized… Continue reading Church of the Falling Sky

Avatar of the Apostle

Eliza padded barefoot along the glass-smooth deck, humming softly to herself on her way to the simulum. He was waiting for her when she arrived. Right on time. He always appeared when she'd find him most distasteful. The Avatar of the Apostle. She walked right through him—his voxels exploding and reassembling in her wake—and took… Continue reading Avatar of the Apostle

Another Atonement

Esrik was unfamiliar with the customs of Capella II, and none more so than the religions. But, he thought as he stood at the steps of the Onyx Temple of Connectedness, they're all generally the same. He could get what he needed here. He climbed the steps and the grand doors parted for him. The… Continue reading Another Atonement

FNG

"My God, I think I'm gonna be sick." M4<^>w? looked down at its new trainee with disdain. It didn't show on its face, but it felt it. The apertures adjusted on its six ocular inputs, arranged vertically on the face of its elongated head, in an impression of a squint. "God had nothing to do… Continue reading FNG

Mind Throne

The Junior Cleric shuffled over the dusty runner covering the bridge-way spanning the blackness to the Mind Throne. Head Rector Mautorum was in Holy Commune. He would not want to be disturbed. The thick cables leading away from the Throne crackled with the incredible flow of power, and occasionally jumped like dreaming eels. One jumped… Continue reading Mind Throne

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