Blackout

Tori woke up like a pot left to boil over, lurching up and gasping from a nightmare immediately forgotten. Her eyes were hot and dry and crusted firmly shut from the dew drops she used last night. The high was second-to-none, but you always paid for it in the morning. She picked the goop from… Continue reading Blackout

Cosmic Justice

It came down like snow. Like a blizzard, in fact, smearing the space between the cloud tops and the ground into a disorienting blur of whirling, blinding, chaotic particles. For a moment, just before descent, Ken became absorbed in the abstract motion and found it profoundly beautiful. Perhaps it was this tendency—to become transfixed by… Continue reading Cosmic Justice

The Light of Other Stars

Brook donned her worn, cumbersome pressure suit piece by piece, sat on the uncomfortable bench in the airlock, and waited for equalization. She found a Zen-like solace in the rushing sound of dark viscous fluid filling the lock and she tried to harness it into something positive. Her crewmates had surprised her with a pastry… Continue reading The Light of Other Stars

Learning to Paint

Sandra was as surprised as anyone when she failed her compulsory exam, but she supposed that's why they had randoms to begin with. By the time you realize you've caught Degen, you've probably infected your whole settlement. The moment that red light came on they rushed her into Level 5 Quarantine to await confirmation. Presently,… Continue reading Learning to Paint

Right Where We Left Off

The fusion heat from the lander's touchdown rockets sent scorching wind gusts down the nearby alleyways of Sky City, and for a brief moment the intense light cast long shadows in the direction of the falling sun. Shopkeeps and patrons raised their voices over the tumult, but the lander was otherwise met with indifference. There… Continue reading Right Where We Left Off

The Idyllia Disaster

Norman Braider looked down at the landscape around Idyllia on Theta Librae III as the shuttle punched through the atmosphere. The settlement sat on the shore of a great winding river that looked now like a dead python sprawled over the plains, its dark belly turned skyward. Grim. The situation below was coloring his thoughts… Continue reading The Idyllia Disaster

Studying the Sunseers of Titan

A young woman prepares her canoe. She has a name, but not one that can be easily written, so it will be omitted here. Her people communicate only in a language of gestures, having abandoned their vocal chords while designing their new bodies so many generations ago. She finds a tall, straight pillar of water… Continue reading Studying the Sunseers of Titan

Gifts From the Wind

The hydronets looked like the white sails of a thousand three-masted ships above the arid desert skies of Solace. Maisie craned her neck to look up at the taut structure stretching a kilometer into the air, viewing it through the filter of the ocular shifters integrated into her fragile biological eyes. There was a tear… Continue reading Gifts From the Wind

Shocking

Kamari squirmed under the glow of the black lights. He bounced between the balls of his feet and shook his hips back and forth. Braylee finally picked her head up from her notebook and chucked her pen at him. "Hey, psycho, what the hell are you doing?" "I'm photographing the core samples before I slab… Continue reading Shocking

Reasons of Their Own

The human settlements that dotted the Martian surface with light and color and smoke were as varied as the people who built them. Mars had become a world of people, and they each came for reasons of their own. Some came for love, and some came for money. Some came to feed their wonderment, their… Continue reading Reasons of Their Own