Ghost Eyes

Harlow stepped virtually through dozens of exchange terminals throughout the valley. She was casing the exits, checking proximity to police stations or to known front businesses belonging to her various competitors. The one thing she wasn't checking for was security cameras. Those were everywhere, and unavoidable. A loud metallic creak behind her indicated someone was… Continue reading Ghost Eyes

Feeling the Weight of Weightlessness

Gina was used to running; she was no stranger to the half-marathon. But her body was already forgetting. The old familiar rhythm felt as unbalanced as an out-of-round wheel. At first she blamed the lack of gravity. That was still the issue, but now she blamed her body. She took it personally. It was funny… Continue reading Feeling the Weight of Weightlessness

Savestate

Salix's mouth hung open. The boy stared aghast at the empty shell of what had been his home. He was going to be in so much trouble when his mother got home. She'd told him on numerous occasions that she'd brought him into this world and could just as easily take him out. Today might… Continue reading Savestate

Avatar of the Apostle

Eliza padded barefoot along the glass-smooth deck, humming softly to herself on her way to the simulum. He was waiting for her when she arrived. Right on time. He always appeared when she'd find him most distasteful. The Avatar of the Apostle. She walked right through him—his voxels exploding and reassembling in her wake—and took… Continue reading Avatar of the Apostle

The Scald

A lone, dark skeleton walked the Scald. The surface was made of standing waves the color of burnt cinnamon, cooked enough to stop from flowing, but not enough to blacken. The crust floated over an ocean of churning magma like a patella cut from its tendons. The skeleton thought it was supposed to have a… Continue reading The Scald

Priming the Cosmos

The universe was as cold and as dark as it had ever been. Eras ticked by like years, and the years themselves, at any given time, went by numerical names that would have been gibberish to those forgotten creators of the human calendar. But as alien as it sounded, ten duotrigintillion years had passed since… Continue reading Priming the Cosmos

Game Theory

"Am I the first?" asked Arcus, kneeling. "I'm afraid not." He looked up, surprised despite the likelihood of the answer. The eye contact appeared to make the Ascendantary uncomfortable. Something new, then—a deviation. A good sign. "How—" "A great many. I have not kept count." She had known his question before he'd fully formed it… Continue reading Game Theory

Long Distance Call

Swirling pixels in Ian's periphery indicated an incoming call. He begrudgingly answered, letting the feed overlay his vision with minimal opacity. He didn't want to lose a finger. "Hello, Jenna," he said, knowing how much she hated it. Sure enough, she frowned. The expression fit her wrinkles precisely. "That's no way to address your mother."… Continue reading Long Distance Call

Not My Circus

The first and most obvious sign of trouble was the trees. The trunks were charred black from the ground up to three meters, above which the bark appeared normal in every way, forming a strict border. Valentine spun in a circle. The whole forest was like that, burnt below three meters, straight and flat as… Continue reading Not My Circus

Stealing Secrets From the Dead

She didn't feel a pulse, and he wasn't breathing. He was dead; the dumb kid was dead. But River wasn't about to call the authorities. Her little 27-hour tea shop enjoyed the best Net connection on the planet because she'd tapped into the government hardline by digging down to it through the basement. It made… Continue reading Stealing Secrets From the Dead