Warnings From the Tanglemind

"Phobia. Kinetics. Dodecahedron." Cara was alone with the tanglemind. Robin said she'd only be gone twenty minutes tops. That was an hour and a half ago. "Tourmaline. Aureolin. Wisteria." The world's easiest babysitting job was getting on her nerves. "Polychrome. Leptis Magna. Backscatter." The Holsteiner Crown, like all federated naval ships, had an onboard tanglemind. Technically,… Continue reading Warnings From the Tanglemind

Ghosts of Tomorrow

The Empress of the SUGRA Skies sunbathed at a hangar on Eta Convex while Sawyer watched from the shadows. He stood to stave off the urge to sleep. He could rest when he was back on board, after the next jump, but not now. Not while there were hands other than his own touching the Empress. The… Continue reading Ghosts of Tomorrow

Storm Shelter

Petty Officer Lars Lamont helped get the clamp in position and then got out of the way. He didn't like it, but the Kid had to learn sometime. The whole cohort was at Lars' least favorite part of the training: practicum. He had to babysit while they did the wrenching on the Kólga's FTL drive. They… Continue reading Storm Shelter

Ups and Downs

Nu stood in the warm tidepools and took in one last look at the blazing blue sun. It had no name, just like this planet. But with a little luck, they would both be in the catalogs in a couple hours. The planet was rich in drinkable water, breathable air, and stable landmasses, but luck… Continue reading Ups and Downs

The Cleanup Crew

Livi snorted and shook her head as they approached what remained of the Rockhound. Zora gave her a sideways glance and half a frown. "What?" She looked like a hard vacuum personified—cold, imposing, and entirely without a sense of humor. "It's just—you know—all that empty space out there and they still managed to hit something. Like,… Continue reading The Cleanup Crew

The Message and the Messenger

Ian paced down the triangular corridors of the deep space listening outpost like an agitated lion at the zoo. Three walls. Three-month rotations. Three shifts with three technicians each. Threes must be important, so he checked his work every three hours. Didn't leave much time for sleep, but he didn't want to sleep. The nightmares… Continue reading The Message and the Messenger

Everywhere She Went

The Overlight were best known for their disdain of the uninitiated. They didn't much care to have nonbelievers fouling up their meticulously crafted masterpieces. Truth be told, Kris wasn't too keen on being here either, even transiently, but there's no such thing as a closed system—stellar or otherwise. There's always a certain amount of bleed… Continue reading Everywhere She Went

The Most Valuable Currency

A pinkish violet plume of particle ejecta stretched out for hundreds of lightyears beyond the Helenus. To most it would be a thing of great beauty, or a of terrible power, but to Captain Iza Valdes it was only data loss. Her work was done and her ship was at idle, but the immense distances… Continue reading The Most Valuable Currency

The Time Slip Man

He'd called it a bunker, but it was really just a series of empty square chambers carved out of the Tritonian ice, pressurized, and separated by heavy hatchways. Whatever you called it, he wasn't here. Leah could sense Captain West's impatience. "Give him a little time," she said. West snorted. "You'd think he'd be punctual… Continue reading The Time Slip Man

The Beginning of a Beautiful Friendship

JR felt a bit like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. This must be how humans felt all the time. Hard to say though; JR hadn't had much interaction with the flesh type since Doc Porter died, and that was forty years ago. And Doc was a bit of a nut anyway. Mostly spoke in snippets… Continue reading The Beginning of a Beautiful Friendship