The Hedron

When the door blew off its hinges it glanced off of Gartner's shoulder and sent him twisting through the air. The Shadows were inside the Temple. They crossed the chasm and shredded Gartner into wet leathery ribbons the color of plum wine before he hit the floor. Captain Erra didn't need the quantum mind of… Continue reading The Hedron

The Builders

Captain Montgomery Abbott floated down the center of the funnel that coupled together the two rotating cylinders of Elbridge Station. Lieutenant Commander Laramore waited on the landing platform, standing stationary but appearing to slide sideways down the wall due to their differing inertial reference frames. Abbott was coming up on 30 years of service, but… Continue reading The Builders

Neon Orbits

Caracara 7-12 had been daydreaming, for lack of a better word, for...well, for a long time. Objectively speaking, anyway. He--it still thought of itself as a he, old habits and such--was watching the neon orbits of the galactic center, stars whipping around Sagittarius like a carnival swing ride. It was hypnotic. When he slowed his… Continue reading Neon Orbits

Zyz’s Syzygy

Zyz awoke staring straight into the sun through a shattered skylight. Full charge. Elapsed down-cycle: 14:11:55.25. She remembered now wandering the tunnels for days in the dark and then scrambling to find a place to recharge before a forced shut down. In the end she'd had to tap into the aux capacitors to stay conscious;… Continue reading Zyz’s Syzygy

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

Gods of Incompetence

The world's first artificial consciousness was on suicide watch. She was housed in a humanoid platform, more for the researchers' benefit than hers, and more for their hubris than their benefit. She oscillated between despondence and rage at regular intervals and was unquestionably a threat to herself. They worried she might become a threat to… Continue reading Gods of Incompetence

Under Red Sand

For a while, all they could do was stare at it from the crest of the dune. Jutting up from the rust-colored sand was a fully jointed hand--like a human's--made of metallic plating and electrical cables. It was the size of a three-story house. It was Elliot who finally broke the silence with a long… Continue reading Under Red Sand

As Above

"We can sell this," said Maruk. "It looks like MC Escher had a bowel movement." Maruk laughed, but it was hollow, like he was a robot doing an impression of laughter. "You wouldn't live here?" he asked. Rola shot him an angry glance that he couldn't see through the faceplate. It wasn't explicit, but the… Continue reading As Above

Private Casser’s Patrol

Private Casser slogged through the mud and rubble. The late afternoon sun was at his back, leaving him to trudge endlessly into his own shadow. Patches of reeds stood in tall, defiant patches, but the radiation would do its work for years and years until the reeds yielded like the buildings that had come before… Continue reading Private Casser’s Patrol