Hard Landings

Captain Filippa Bartlett of the asteroid mining vessel The Devil's Sooty Brother was bringing her ship down for a surface landing. Problem was, The Devil's Sooty Brother wasn't meant for suborbital flight. Teardrop shapes had the same air resistance as a cube in the emptiness of space, and the cube was a much more convenient shape to… Continue reading Hard Landings

Now They Call Me Lucky

When the starships all fell from the sky, many people died. But for a few, time merely stood still for a while. You'll notice I didn't say "a lucky few." Some people do; they say, "How lucky you are!" And I suppose it's true, if you make no strong distinction between good luck and bad. But… Continue reading Now They Call Me Lucky

Nothing Comes From Nothing

The tunnel walls were smooth as blown glass, hard as diamond, and cold as everything else in the empty depths between the stars. A brown marbling splintered across the cream-colored surface like veins. Jiten had never seen anything like it anywhere in the solar system, and he'd been to three rocky planets and a hundred… Continue reading Nothing Comes From Nothing

Mother Sea Turtle

Admiral Pak entered the committee chamber like she were riding a chariot pulled by fire-breathing Andalusian stallions. "Whose brainchild is this abomination?" She pointed at the holo of Monumenta hovering above the conference table, reflected in its glassy onyx finish. The various officials and councilors bristled at her accent: Sol system. They'd all been there,… Continue reading Mother Sea Turtle

88 More

A swell of nausea pulled Private Elowen Dextre out of darkness. The spinning in her head was a very specific sensation: gravity flux. She felt she was strapped to a flight chair, but her arms and legs were restrained, too. She opened her eyes, and the sight before her gave her stomach a new reason… Continue reading 88 More

Unbound in the Shade

"Entering the Shade in 30 seconds," said Ecliptious, the Resolution's onboard AI. It was the smartest member of the crew—though they were all gifted scientists and explorers—even bound as it was. The risks of this mission were unknown, but the risks of an unbound AI were well understood. The mission proceeded, and Ecliptious remained bound. No… Continue reading Unbound in the Shade

Trouble Downwell

Captain Miim Sesset bonked her face shield with the bow of her wrist, absently trying to wipe the sweat from her brow. They didn't prepare her for this bullshit back at the academy. The countdown timer was hard to read with her cockpit in blackout mode, but she knew there was under a minute to… Continue reading Trouble Downwell

Where Life Goes

Magma oozed down the hillside to the basalt plains upon which Rose stood waiting. Flakes of sulfur fell in what would always look to her like slow motion, but was really a natural motion that exposed her Earth-centric bias. It could hardly be avoided, but she tried to mentally call herself out when she noticed… Continue reading Where Life Goes

Not Today

This was all because of a notebook. A small one; fit in the palm of your hand. Black. Hardbacked. Quantum biolock; secure. Rin took great pains to not get involved in her passengers' business. She'd built a reputation around it, but now, because of that awful notebook she was extremely, hopelessly, inextricably involved. The notebook… Continue reading Not Today

Morning Coffee

All she wanted was to sit in the sun and drink a cup of coffee in the morning. As it happened, she missed the first morning already, but due to the celestial mechanics of this funny little world there would be a second. It happened every 11 days here; the sun rose, then backtracked and… Continue reading Morning Coffee