Recruited

Kris sat at a small booth in a dim corner of Club Andromeda sipping a tart cocktail and puffing on an alien hookah that sent her sky high for a fleeting few seconds each time she hit it. She really didn't like it here. Wasn't her scene. But that's why she chose it; she was… Continue reading Recruited

Feeling the Weight of Weightlessness

Gina was used to running; she was no stranger to the half-marathon. But her body was already forgetting. The old familiar rhythm felt as unbalanced as an out-of-round wheel. At first she blamed the lack of gravity. That was still the issue, but now she blamed her body. She took it personally. It was funny… Continue reading Feeling the Weight of Weightlessness

Lost Places in Want of Finding

Trillium stood naked in the night fog, their amber body glowing softly through the obsidian black plates of their carapace. Before them was the temple of Manan Urrev on the world of the First Exilists, Mapmara. They'd been looking for it so long that they couldn't remember ever doing anything else, even with their enhanced… Continue reading Lost Places in Want of Finding

Secrets, Secrets Are No Fun

A couple of years ago Maggie would have thought it wasn't fair and become despondent that the chaos of the universe had a preference for her misery. But that was the fatalistic response of a child. She was 18 now—an adult; a woman of action—and the only words that fit were this is bullshit! It was… Continue reading Secrets, Secrets Are No Fun

The Civility

Something invisible slammed into Meralda's shoulder. Splinters of bone flew away and the force knocked her to the ground, but by the time she bounced back up she was healed. It was just surface damage. A gray sheen of nanocytes swarmed the area and laid down a thick patch of synthetic exoskeleton over the impact… Continue reading The Civility

How to Sleep for 1,000 Years

As part of his education, Praveen had to read the autobiography of Dr. Maaz Ghazali, one of the pioneers of cryonic interstellar travel. It was called How to Sleep for 1,000 Years. Interesting book, if a little dated. It didn't really cover Praveen's current dilemma, but even so, the parallels were enough to chill him to… Continue reading How to Sleep for 1,000 Years

Learning to Run

Humanity was born on Earth, and the Sol system was where they learned to crawl. And crawl they did, to Mars, and to Mercury, and to Titan. They got so comfortable with crawling that they eventually crawled all the way to the Centauri Coast—Alpha Two, orbiting Rigel Kentaurus—on a three-kilometer generation ship that somehow managed… Continue reading Learning to Run

When the Stars Align

It was early—very early—but the air was warm and still. And Benoît, for his part, hadn't complained in the least. He'd even offered to carry the backpack she'd filled with breakfast pastries, a thermos of dark coffee, and an outdoor blanket. Kirsty thought she might love him, which was what made him worthy of what… Continue reading When the Stars Align

The Price of a Scholarship

Irina floated to the catwalk where her governess waited. Instead of taking the water pouch offered to her, she swatted it away and banged her side fist repeatedly against the bulkhead. Her governess swam over and scooped Irina loosely into her arms. "What has gotten into you, child?" Irina shrugged the woman off. "I don't… Continue reading The Price of a Scholarship

Children of the Reach

Westin walked the night forests of Giausar IV. The hydrogen-filled bubbles hung thirty feet overhead, each one rooted to the ground by a bioluminescent umbilicus too thick to get his hands around to throttle or snap. Long leafy ribbons hung down from the bubbles, rustling in the breeze and brushing his face. It was like… Continue reading Children of the Reach