Best Friend

Author : Bob Newbell “Shuttle now clear from mothership. Beginning de-orbit,” said Commander King as he studied the holographic display on his control panel. Captain Rex, seated next to him, looked up at what remained of the SS Stalwart. When she’d left Earth’s solar…

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The Goddess of War

Author : Mary Ann Back Dr. Klatua wasn’t dead – yet. But ten minutes into my session, the only thing keeping me from killing him was the Heja Root I’d smoked earlier in space dock. He was a typical Martian, four-foot-ten, reptilian green with scales here and tentacles…

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Order of Service

Author : Josie Gowler Twenty years of war. The couple sitting in front of me are younger than I was when I became Captain. Officiating wedding ceremonies is one of the supposedly pleasanter responsibilities of my job on this starship. But how can I do that with a…

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Maintain Your Equipment

Author : Clint Wilson, Staff Writer “Damn it Jones! Haven’t you got that translator working yet?” The ensign was baffled. He had set up translators on hundreds of worlds. This program was the very best, drawing on any slight nuances of anything that could conceivably…

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Love Planet

Author : Duncan Shields, Staff Writer There are over a billion species represented. Finding out information and language about a species happens quickest during coitus, they say, and the more plentiful the better. I was selected from over eighty thousand applicants. I…

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Honorable Discharge

Author : Alla Hoffman Derrick woke up to the sensation of his lungs running out of air. The pod was dark, but he could see a weak greenish light filtering through the glass. He pounded on the lid frantically; something must have gone wrong with the cryo system. Maybe…

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Forever Song

Author : Jae Miles, Staff Writer Whales have long been creatures that inspire awe in humans. When we discovered them out here, that mystery only deepened. At what far distant point, and how, did a star-roving behemoth come to dwell in the oceans of Earth? The…

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A Pair, A Grin

Author : Steve Smith, Staff Writer Drax left the party early, as he often did, dragging two beautiful young things into his elevator and up to his sprawling office to ‘admire the view’, occupying as it did the entire top floor. Heels came off outside the elevator,…

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Real Love

Author : Jeri Otero She’s so beautiful. Just lying there with her eyes closed. All that long black hair, still in its long curls even after last night. Lashes like feather dusters, lying against her skin. She has those slightly turned up eyes that are almost Asian….

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The Long and Short of It

Author : JD Kennedy The bridge of Earth’s first colony ship, Columbia, was a beehive of activity. The newly awakened ship’s officers were carefully reviewing the system readings at each of their stations. Captain James Branson sat in his chair admiring the efficiency…

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Runner

Author : Duncan Shields, Staff Writer We tried everything but the kid was just too fast. We were hoping to break speed records when we bred him. A snip of a molecule here, a tweak of an atom there. We only wanted to cheat and win some gold medals for our country. We…

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Rupert

Author : Clint Wilson, Staff Writer Rupert’s father blubbered uncontrollably as he took his son’s hand and led him away from the car and into the forest. Son? Was he really? Maybe if he kept thinking that way this might become somehow easier. Yes, he just needed to…

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Concerning Dark Matters

Author : Patricia Stewart, Staff Writer “Damn, there’s nothing there. I don’t like this one bit,” said NASA’s Jim Mason to his fellow astronomer. “Based on the perturbations to the orbits of Neptune and Uranus, the computer says the damn thing has 45% of the mass of…

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Double Blind

Author : Steve Smith, Staff Writer Dr. Darius from the Psychology lab walked along the line of students to Dr. Thorne’s adjacent Bio lab, reaching the door just as it opened to emit a thin wiry girl with a pale face and electric blue irises. She paused only a second…

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The Ministry of Dirty Tricks

Author : Colin W Campbell When it all started, Duke was just one of these overpaid, do anything, off-home-world operatives. The planet administrators were little impressed when he asked for a Council Meeting to propose a new section for what he called dirty-tricks….

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Vector

Author : TJMoore I’m starting to get a little worried now. Some more kids stopped by to visit Adrian today. At first it was just his friends, kids that I know and have met before. Now, it seems like every teenager in the county is stopping by. Almost as troubling is…

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Curtain Call for Feeling

Author : Jack Barton ‘Joy, joy, I wish joy to you all.’ Karl raised his arms as he addressed the crowd. ‘And joy is what you shall have, if you can accept it.’ Beaming, he eyed the hesitant audience. It wasn’t just junkies and religious zealots anymore; there were…

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Activation Required

Author : Donald O’Barra “You’re so full of shit, Barry,” said Kent. “No, I’m serious. I was reading about gene activation. They’ve managed to wake up really old genes in lab mice. What if humans thousands of years ago all had superpowers? What if they could fly or…

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