Ghosts of Tomorrow

The Empress of the SUGRA Skies sunbathed at a hangar on Eta Convex while Sawyer watched from the shadows. He stood to stave off the urge to sleep. He could rest when he was back on board, after the next jump, but not now. Not while there were hands other than his own touching the Empress. The… Continue reading Ghosts of Tomorrow

Ups and Downs

Nu stood in the warm tidepools and took in one last look at the blazing blue sun. It had no name, just like this planet. But with a little luck, they would both be in the catalogs in a couple hours. The planet was rich in drinkable water, breathable air, and stable landmasses, but luck… Continue reading Ups and Downs

The Message and the Messenger

Ian paced down the triangular corridors of the deep space listening outpost like an agitated lion at the zoo. Three walls. Three-month rotations. Three shifts with three technicians each. Threes must be important, so he checked his work every three hours. Didn't leave much time for sleep, but he didn't want to sleep. The nightmares… Continue reading The Message and the Messenger

Subject 17

"Okay, Ella, you just stay right here. You wait for me right here." Kaylie could hear the frantic desperation in her own voice. She hoped the rubbery muffle of her gas mask hid her fear from the child. Fear was contagious. The last thing Kaylie wanted was for Ella to be afraid. Not just because… Continue reading Subject 17

Special Cargo

The pilot made Lula feel extremely uncomfortable. The pilot likely felt nothing at all for his part. Him? Was the pilot a man? Not in the philosophical man-or-machine sense, but biologically. She'd assumed he was a man based on his bulk and the breadth of his shoulders, but she supposed those were not meaningful indicators.… Continue reading Special Cargo

Knowing the Enemy

The ice giant Rosen is only a pale crescent in the violet sky of its largest moon. Ivodus looks up and thinks it looks like the closed eye of a sleeping god. Or a dead one. This place sets off strange and indistinct memories, more feelings than specific recollections, and he doesn't like it. It… Continue reading Knowing the Enemy

Lost Places in Want of Finding

Trillium stood naked in the night fog, their amber body glowing softly through the obsidian black plates of their carapace. Before them was the temple of Manan Urrev on the world of the First Exilists, Mapmara. They'd been looking for it so long that they couldn't remember ever doing anything else, even with their enhanced… Continue reading Lost Places in Want of Finding

An Audience With the Presider

There was a peculiar scent in the air, a mix of spilled petrol and roasted pork with sweetsop. Bata had visited many of these metrolettes, and they all had their own smell. He removed the clear regulator mask from beneath his robes, the rubber hose snaking back beneath the folds, situated the mask over his… Continue reading An Audience With the Presider

Secrets, Secrets Are No Fun

A couple of years ago Maggie would have thought it wasn't fair and become despondent that the chaos of the universe had a preference for her misery. But that was the fatalistic response of a child. She was 18 now—an adult; a woman of action—and the only words that fit were this is bullshit! It was… Continue reading Secrets, Secrets Are No Fun

Loose Ends

Abe stood on the highest ledge atop the butte and regarded the exposed rock layers across the canyon. It had been a long time since he'd really stopped to look at them. A long time. A lot had happened. If you'd never been to 42 Orions B—no one could agree on a suitable permanent name,… Continue reading Loose Ends