Walkabout

Pearce Kelly was lost among the underdecks, alone on one of his famous walkabouts. It was an exercise he'd learned from his grandfather—Grandpa Kelly—who in turn had learned it from his grandfather, Xavier Ballad. Great-great-grandpa Ballad had lived out most of his life on Earth, signing on as the Progeny Asunder's inaugural Navigation Officer in… Continue reading Walkabout

Attenuation

There was a static hiss. Flickering teal light beyond his visor. His shoulder hurt—must have slept on it funny. Actually, he was oddly reclined. Anton Tereschenko swam out of a foggy dreamless sleep and into a foggy dreamlike reality. He was wearing a flight suit and strapped to a crash couch. He unlatched the harnesses… Continue reading Attenuation

Ex Astris

Roman's heart raced. This was it. The culmination of three years of painstaking nonstop work. Truly nonstop; he'd found it easier to live in the lab for the last several months—years? Surely it was only months—venturing out less and less frequently. His fellow lab assistants shared his zeal, but no one could compare to Dr.… Continue reading Ex Astris

Consequences

The still, cold night was momentarily disturbed by the sounds of bare feet slapping against damp leaves on asphalt, and hands and uncovered knees scrambling over moss-laden car bodies, until the only sound was a labored breathing that gradually eased. After a few minutes the world seemed like it had rolled over and gone back… Continue reading Consequences

Not Alone

A yellow spark inched along a blue landscape. Claytor, a large moon in the 70 Virginis  system, had all the blues of Earth but none of the oceans. It had valleys of kyanite and sheer cliffs of cordierite, and an abundance of copper that leant the thick, hazy atmosphere an aquamarine hue. As for the… Continue reading Not Alone

A Tale to Tell

The gnarled tangles of swamp brush refused to bend or break, forcing Cliff Asna to make his way forward in a zigzagging fashion like an old drunkard. It was cold and it was dark, but it was no use at all being caught in the open during daylight hours—Betelgeuse would fry your suit and broil… Continue reading A Tale to Tell

When It Rains

The facility was enormous—fifteen miles to a side according to the odometer—and, after circling the entire complex in an old battery-converted Jeep, Dustin resigned to the fact that there'd be no easy way in. High steel-and-concrete walls left no gaps in the perimeter. The various and spread out gates all looked the same: impregnable. He… Continue reading When It Rains

Coronation

The crowd was in a frenzy. The colosseum's towering reaches held a quarter of a million people, and it was over capacity with thousands more pressing in to witness this historic upheaval. They were here beneath the sweltering summer sun to see her: Supreme Commander Scandere. Barely beyond her third decade, she'd had enough blood on… Continue reading Coronation

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

Agent Ouroboros

"You've done well, Captain, and you can expect your effort to be rewarded," said Ouroboros. She'd been born Olivia Shen, but she'd given up that identity along with everything else to become an Agent, one of the shadowy operatives who lived between the stars. They were the movers and shakers around whom this galaxy spun.… Continue reading Agent Ouroboros