Memories of Birds

The early morning air was cool, but not uncomfortable, as Annika strolled through the unstructured wilds of Quaoar. Little insects leapt and glided away from the thin grasses underfoot, chittering softly in their rhythmic, stuttering way as she passed. The long, slender amphibians croaked and gurgled from the rocks along the edges of ponds where… Continue reading Memories of Birds

Building the COB

The observable universe was something near 100 billion lightyears across and all but half of a hundred-quintillionth of it was empty space, so Leia felt justified when she woke up feeling annoyed about her cramped quarters. When it was complete, the COB—Callisto Orbital Basecamp—would serve as the gateway between the inner system and the as… Continue reading Building the COB

Sim Test

"Detective Keller, have a seat." The captain's eyes skimmed over a holo screen visible only to him. Case files, crime scene photos, precinct statistics; who knows? Could've been porn. Keller didn't really care. He wasn't the judgmental type. Wasn't a judge. He was an executioner. He sat at the captain's desk and waited. The captain… Continue reading Sim Test

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