Win Some, Lose Some

It was an unacceptable gambit, a proposition that ensured nearly everyone who attempted it would perish swiftly and far from home. But some might survive, and that's more than could be said about abstaining, so thy pressed ahead by the billions. See you on the other side. Yeah. Maybe. The circumstances hung heavy on the… Continue reading Win Some, Lose Some

The Light of Other Stars

Brook donned her worn, cumbersome pressure suit piece by piece, sat on the uncomfortable bench in the airlock, and waited for equalization. She found a Zen-like solace in the rushing sound of dark viscous fluid filling the lock and she tried to harness it into something positive. Her crewmates had surprised her with a pastry… Continue reading The Light of Other Stars

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

Two Options

He'd tried everything he could, and he was down to a choice between two options: jettison the cargo hold and make an emergency landing, or crash, killing everyone on board. Abe had no desire to be responsible for anyone's death, most of all his own. It was a crucial decision, and to him, not a… Continue reading Two Options

Set the Stars Aspinning

Magamyar enjoyed its work—at a surface level, anyway. Pushing particles into clouds with its magnetic wings, caressing and coaxing them into hot little eggs, and after they hatched setting them spinning like tops. It was slow mindless work that allowed for contemplation. It was good for the soul. But it was without meaning—congealing dust until… Continue reading Set the Stars Aspinning

The Rift

Zane began to sweat as his suit's cooling system ran low on power. He should have been there by now. He trudged along through ankle-deep mist and against a wind that seemed to blow counter to whatever direction he tried to move. The harsh divide of the horizon sliced through the haze of brightly colored… Continue reading The Rift

The Hard Way

Leo was learning a lot about hyperspace travel today, as he'd thought he might, but he'd hoped for a more passive kind of education. He tried not to vomit, but his teeth were floating something fierce. He made eye contact with a scowling guard and looked back at his feet, careful not to look at… Continue reading The Hard Way

Hopes and Dreams

When the sound of her flatcamel's hooves changed from a shifting of sand to a clopping of stone, Perla allowed herself to grow hopeful. She'd heard many stories about the rocket lands, but this was the first evidence that they'd borne any truth. The fiery breaths of a thousand human-made engines upon the sand had… Continue reading Hopes and Dreams

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

Remember to Wave

Lenny felt the warmth of the sun on his face. It felt good. He could see the fuzzy strands of the veins in his eyelids. He yawned, and then remembered the fun he'd had last night. He'd stayed up well past bedtime—not even trying to keep quiet—playing with Legos and swapping secrets with his best… Continue reading Remember to Wave