Taking Charge

Lieutenant Gina Rolas held her cup of burnt, black coffee in both hands, waiting for it to cool. She kicked her feet up at her station on the Silencio's bridge. Most of the stealth frigate's crew were planetside with Captain Hocks and Commander Nitsady, which made her the ranking officer and acting captain. It wasn't a… Continue reading Taking Charge

When It Rains

The facility was enormous—fifteen miles to a side according to the odometer—and, after circling the entire complex in an old battery-converted Jeep, Dustin resigned to the fact that there'd be no easy way in. High steel-and-concrete walls left no gaps in the perimeter. The various and spread out gates all looked the same: impregnable. He… Continue reading When It Rains

Don’t Touch

It looked like a house-sized tumor. It was a fleshy mass that twitched and oozed thick scarlet fluids and puffed out gases at intervals. The whole thing had a clear sheen like raw pork shoulder. The two scientists and their military escort were too amazed to wretch at the otherwise disgusting glob that filled the… Continue reading Don’t Touch

Staying Productive

Fortunately, the Aeacus had dropped out of fourspace before taking it on the chin; if it hadn't, its pieces would be scattered from here to Pavo-Indus. There'd be nothing left to investigate. Then John Faldswell would be at home, alone in his meager apartment, spending another evening spiraling away from productive ways to stave his… Continue reading Staying Productive

A Scar Upon Our Souls

Shune and Dobar watched from a ledge under the chilly shade of one of the valley's iconic monadnocks, the Five Sisters. Standing motionless in the coppery hues of early morning was an Interfederal Argema-373 passenger ship, its body retracted over its folded legs. It looked like a 3,000-ton chrome mosquito. Shune shivered with disgust and… Continue reading A Scar Upon Our Souls

Agent Ouroboros

"You've done well, Captain, and you can expect your effort to be rewarded," said Ouroboros. She'd been born Olivia Shen, but she'd given up that identity along with everything else to become an Agent, one of the shadowy operatives who lived between the stars. They were the movers and shakers around whom this galaxy spun.… Continue reading Agent Ouroboros

Make Yourself Useful

Make yourself useful, he said. Some goddamn nerve. Two years, Lin had served on the Dauntless. Two long years, without so much as a weekend's leave, making four jumps a week while under-crewed and poorly maintained. And not once had she ever missed her mark. Never. She'd been telling Captain Sayre from day one that a… Continue reading Make Yourself Useful

Trouble Is Where You Look for It

Priscilla swished the whiskey back and forth over her tongue in time with the pulsing neon lights and the bassy, synth-heavy music that swirled around the club. It was packed tonight, and she was in one of her moods. She was looking for a specific brand of trouble. She shouted to the bartender, "Another double,"… Continue reading Trouble Is Where You Look for It

Making Waves

Terrance ran between terminals with the awkward gait that came from his magnetic boots. He tried to route power to weapons as the requests came in without sacrificing critical functions: life support, navigation, shields, maneuvering, cryonics. But without weapons, they wouldn't be able to stop their pursuers. Hell, everything was critical. He felt an unnatural… Continue reading Making Waves

The Stargazer’s Test

Mitch stood alone in the unnatural gloam of the sacred canyons. He hated it here; it gave him the creeps. The long branches of the wanderwood trees slithered slowly across the chalky stones, shedding their bark with a wooden groan that swirled around him as it echoed from the canyon walls. A chill breeze swept… Continue reading The Stargazer’s Test