Space Demons

"We call them space demons." That caught the young sergeant's attention. She shifted her stance and her fingers danced near her hip, navigating a private hologram. Taking notes. Yramus continued. "No religious connotation. It just gets the idea across." He inhaled deeply on a zenleaf cigarette. The smoke was thick and sweet like burnt sugar. Tears… Continue reading Space Demons

Taking From the Water Cartel

Ivy flew down the stairs three at a time. Her palms sweated, but at each landing she managed to keep her grip on the metal handrail as she whipped herself around 180 degrees toward the next flight. The railings were cold, and getting colder as she descended. Her bare feet made slapping sounds on the… Continue reading Taking From the Water Cartel

Unusual Convictions

The sun speaks to me. That's not hyperbole or metaphor. The sun—the one you're picturing, the burning ball of gas that we measure our days and years against—it speaks to me. With words. It's had a century or so to deduce our languages from radio waves. I'm speculating. It's cagey on the subject. I know… Continue reading Unusual Convictions

No Innocent People

Emera had a sick feeling in her gut from the get-go, from the very first words of the briefing, and from there it only grew in her chest like a rancid vine strangling her heart. She boarded the dropship with the rest of the platoon. They were about to descend onto a remote and undefended… Continue reading No Innocent People

A Sort of Homecoming

It had been a hard-fought tour and Harlow felt she'd earned the right to go home. But not like this. She waded slowly through the river in her six-ton mech suit, mindful of making waves that would douse her squadmates who were on foot. The water was up to their waists and they were doing… Continue reading A Sort of Homecoming

An Uneasy Alliance

The snowfall was heavy. The flakes were large enough to be feathers, like a flock of white-winged sky-spanning birds was on a migratory path just above the battered tree tops, the rhythmic pulsing of the wind further evidence of beating wings. It was a pity about the trees; trees don't even grow here. Wreckage. Hull… Continue reading An Uneasy Alliance

Worm Food

It wasn't raining this morning, so Eino didn't grab a poncho. But, as he'd come to expect, the weather on Kultainen Tunti could change on a dime. Without the weather mod-sats there was little that could be done about it. At the moment, things were not as golden as the name implied. Eino was soaked.… Continue reading Worm Food

88 More

A swell of nausea pulled Private Elowen Dextre out of darkness. The spinning in her head was a very specific sensation: gravity flux. She felt she was strapped to a flight chair, but her arms and legs were restrained, too. She opened her eyes, and the sight before her gave her stomach a new reason… Continue reading 88 More

Starship Fuel and Blood

This was not Captain Jord's first trip to the Deitnerkon; he'd been to Authorial Headquarters many times. But this was the first time since his son had died. His son, Askorot, was slain on the Ophiuchus Line in glorious battle, defending the Authorium from the death-hordes from beyond the disc. The planet where he'd fallen… Continue reading Starship Fuel and Blood

Consequences

The still, cold night was momentarily disturbed by the sounds of bare feet slapping against damp leaves on asphalt, and hands and uncovered knees scrambling over moss-laden car bodies, until the only sound was a labored breathing that gradually eased. After a few minutes the world seemed like it had rolled over and gone back… Continue reading Consequences