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

The Roll

Kenzo woke up when the cigarette burned its way down to his fingers. Must have dozed off. He wasn't sure the last time he really slept. Or ate something, for that matter. He checked the little baggy in the pocket of his red leather jacket. Two white rectangular pills with red dots in the center:… Continue reading The Roll

Starship Fuel and Blood

This was not Captain Jord's first trip to the Deitnerkon; he'd been to Authorial Headquarters many times. But this was the first time since his son had died. His son, Askorot, was slain on the Ophiuchus Line in glorious battle, defending the Authorium from the death-hordes from beyond the disc. The planet where he'd fallen… Continue reading Starship Fuel and Blood

Yellowjacket

After all communications ceased, Flight Engineer Sadhbh Duffy and Science Officer Eddie Takeda stuck it out another nine days before departing in the last Soyuz capsule. They'd tried, but Commander Colin Kask could not be coaxed into abandoning the station. He would remain, alone and without means to escape. The last astronaut. That was 21… Continue reading Yellowjacket

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

Under the Knife

The Lunar Gateway orbital station was made not only of polymers and carbon fibers and lightweight alloys, but, principally, of rules. If humans had been intended for space they would have been born there. To survive in such a hostile and unforgiving environment, a strict, ordered constellation of rules was required. The Gateway had been… Continue reading Under the Knife

Domestic Sales

"Just sell one at cost to get some short term cash and I'll find a new investor." "Daphne, you need to face reality. Ourcology will be insolvent in thirty days. The model is dead." Daphne Maladine stared down at the earth as it spiraled slowly against the black. Was the station spun up too fast?… Continue reading Domestic Sales

Portraits of the Patriarchy

Hayden Alico stood in the grand foyer of Alico Station's spinning torus. The grand foyer was next to the docking berths—it was meant to impress. But it had never impressed her. She climbed the imposing regal staircase, with its hand carved banisters and silver inlays emphasizing the theme of dynastic power, until she reached the… Continue reading Portraits of the Patriarchy

In Need of Forgiveness

Luther kicked in the cathedral door. It was the only part of Concordance Station that was permitted to forego the triple-redundant locking hatchways required of all other passageways—granted by popular vote, the fools. His left arm was dead below the shoulder, and his right was preoccupied keeping pressure over the fresh hole in the side… Continue reading In Need of Forgiveness