Gravedigger

"Start digging graves," Dalton told the Lacuna Populous' android attendant. "Graves?" Dalton dropped the legs of the body he was dragging onto the deck and they thudded dully one after the other. He turned his irritated gaze to the android and rubbed his dark, thick beard. "Holes. Outside. To put the bodies in. Find something to… Continue reading Gravedigger

Losing Steam

Cerys kept nodding off, her head tipping downward and jerking back up again. It was a special kind of punishment. Three days. They'd been pursuing the sapphire class freighter for three days as it tried uselessly to lose them beyond the horizon as it fell endlessly around the incomprehensible curvature of Mu Cephei. The hypergiant… Continue reading Losing Steam

No Prisoners

"Bring them out." Par Acaces had no question as to who the ruhl meant by them. The par gathered the feeble space-weakened prisoners, with their wet eyes and their dry elastic skin, and marched them in a shackled line off the hulking battle transport. Ruhl Shald  was waiting on the narrow bridgeway, pacing and clomping about… Continue reading No Prisoners

Lux Apocrypha

Lieutenant Colonel Randall Jung watched alone from the observation spire of his command cruiser, the Fate Arisen, as the drop ships poured from the formation of carriers by the thousands. The starfield beyond was completely blotted out. To think, such an imposing show of force, and still it would not be enough. A million soldiers… Continue reading Lux Apocrypha

The Astromancer

When the wormhole appeared, we sent through six ships. Each ship brought 36 passengers, including ambassadors, religious figures, military officers, and career astronauts. Only 14 souls returned; a random selection from five of the six ships. They were gone less than a day, and they were recovered drifting naked in open space save for an… Continue reading The Astromancer

Not a Creature Was Stirring

Terran floated down the empty main corridor—two kilometers long—occasionally bumping against the walls. He laughed as he flailed his arms. He laughed at the fat liquid bubbles in the air as he slurped them up. He laughed at his own ridiculous name. Terran. Ha! He was drunk, but not unhappy. Alcohol was prohibited for on-duty… Continue reading Not a Creature Was Stirring

Abandonist Massacre

The flames in the night lit the right half of Mercia's blood-splattered face, mirroring the gibbous moon that shined above, disinterested in the plights of lesser humans. The ground shook mightily as another rocket exploded on its launchpad on the other side of the complex. Mercia picked herself up, pumped the charging primer on her… Continue reading Abandonist Massacre

Noblest of Endeavors

Giants of light and hellfire swirled around Blair like lightning bugs caught in a twister. She couldn't rely on her vision at these speeds; relativity caused the universe to warp and flux around her little cocoon of spacetime in ways that weren't only unnatural to her earthborn eyes, but unnatural even to nature. Outside of… Continue reading Noblest of Endeavors

Guest Room

Kara sat up in bed and clutched her chest. There was a familiar pounding at her front door. She threw a robe around her toned frame and went to answer it without bothering to check the time—at some point the hour no longer mattered and it was just late. Without flipping on the porch light… Continue reading Guest Room

Return of the Maleficarum

As a young man, Rich Speyer thought he'd seen the last of the Maleficarum. At the time, he commanded the special joint task force responsible for the Sweep—the rounding up of the dissenters, the objectionists, the pacifists, the skulking members of the anti-party-party, and shuttling them off world to take their deviant ideas to the stars.… Continue reading Return of the Maleficarum