Hell to Pay

Riazi sat on the rustic hardwood floor with her back against the foot of the couch and her knees drawn up to her chest. The ashtray on the floor beside her was overflowing with butts and ash. She lit up another cigarette anyway. It was frivolous, but it helped her feel human. Which, of course,… Continue reading Hell to Pay

Terraforming Terra

Cole sat slowly down, owing the slowness to the low surface gravity, and nestled his body down. The armchair shifted on its own to hold his doughy body more comfortably. He bit the tip off of a thick, tightly rolled cigar—imported from Europa—and lit it with the small butane lighter he kept beside the armchair… Continue reading Terraforming Terra

Smoker

"That's the dumbest shit I've ever seen." Kai had envisioned a more enthusiastic response. "Just wait," he said, "you'll have one too by month's end; I guarantee it." He slurred his words around the snorkel-like mouthpiece. It would take some getting used to, he admitted to himself. Maddox plopped down onto the old worn armchair,… Continue reading Smoker

The Day That Lasted Forever

You're tired. Sure, you haven't slept in 22 days, but that's not the source of your exhaustion—you might not ever sleep again and you wouldn't miss it a bit. No, the problem is the repetition. The unending déjà vu on top of déjà vu, like standing between two mirrors, surrounded by infinite reflections of yourself.… Continue reading The Day That Lasted Forever

Io

The small freighter fell out of FTL after what felt like only a heartbeat to the two-man crew. "That's it?" "That's it," said Gilderson. Technically he was a pilot, but the onboard AIs did all of the real flying. This left him with a lot of down time, which suited him fine. Under the neon… Continue reading Io