An Epitaph from the Expanse

Author : David Botticello “…Ma’am?” Major Vorwith questioned. “…Ma’am?” “Yes Major,” intoned his captain, her voice betraying the long night behind them. “We’re receiving a message. No author identification. It’s coming across all frequencies, and in over 12,000 languages, including ...

Dedicated

Author : Chinmaya Dabral "We must use The Weapon. I see no alternative." Most other Council members nodded in unison, but Salah seemed surprised. Hesitant, she finally spoke. "You mean a Torkh? Do we even have those now?" Hohn looked at her. "You are new, aren't you? There's a ...

Nothing

Author : Larry Hinkle The ship had brought her out of stasis three hours ago, which meant the A.I. had finally found something worth checking out. Nothing could override its programming. Vanessa checked the log and found she'd been in cryo-sleep for almost 87 years, making her ...

Permission

Author : Craig Finlay Stella was watching the blue plastic ice cube fall from her hand to the glass at quarter-G, about 2.25 meters per second. D-deck in the outer rings had the most gravity. And the emergency hatches on d-deck, recessed a further 5 feet out, actually delivered a ...

The Editor

Author : Philip Ryburn "600 words?! I'm expected to create an entire universe, complete with believable characters that the reader can relate to and care about in a mere 600 words? Are you outta your ever-lovin' mind?", Christina Hoffman was exasperated. Clearly, this was not going ...

Such a Small Mistake

Author : Elijah Goering Henry Jockt listened to the low hiss of life support as the last of the oxygen was used up. He tried to force himself to run over the possibilities once again, to hold on to hope for some miraculous rescue, but his despair resisted his best efforts and he soon ...

Handicapped

Author : James Anderson They called us handicapped. Our bodies didn't develop the way other people's did. We were weaker than them, we tired more easily. Some of us thought it was God, others just thought it was genetics. We didn't know we were being prepared. Decades after the war ...

Causal Loop

Author : Beck Dacus September 17th, 2366 was the day that humanity used a massive particle accelerator to try and make another universe. Arnold Fisby looked out at the small section of the accelerator he could see, granted that it had the diameter of the Solar System. The entire ...

Spirit and Opportunity

Author : David Wright Spirit woke to “Turn Turn Turn” by the Byrds. She did not know what the music meant; only that it was the code for her activation. "I am ready, Opportunity," she said eagerly. "I am ready. I am ready. I am ready." "Acknowledged. Shut up and wait for my ...

Star-shaped Star

Author : Duncan Shields, Staff Writer The pendant dances slowly in the air currents, attached to one of the safety release handles on the top wall of the cockpit or what groundfolk would call a ‘ceiling’. It was given to me by my daughter before liftoff. She was four at the time. ...

Walkabout

Author : Julian Miles, Staff Writer They say that Vikings never actually had horns on their helmets. Odd how that piece of trivia rises to mind at this moment of peril. I know why it’s arisen: the being attempting to end my existence has horns on his helmet – or his head looks like a ...

Old Memories

Author : Thomas Desrochers Mao found it very curious, this third planet from the sun. Blisteringly hot and unbearably humid, shaken hourly by violent storms like a wind-up toy wound too tight. The only living residents left were clustered at the southern pole, hidden in the crags of ...

Sojourn

Author : Will Shell The lieutenant staggered closer to the viewing window, each drag of her left leg adding to the blood smear that trailed a half mile through the ships corridors. Emergency floor lighting pulsed indolently, the waning breaths of the backup electrical system. She ...

Final Moon

Author : Art Klein The moon looked bigger than ever. That shouldn’t have surprised him. He knew it was bigger because it was closer than ever. He also knew it was getting even closer. But how big it looked tonight really did surprise him. “How long do they think we can survive after ...

Antique Pink Panties

Author : Suzanne Borchers Xoman yearned for the vast world outside the gates of her private hell. Her life was: follow the regulations or face the consequences, eyes in the back of your head, and sour-faced guards. She rubbed her temples where each day electrons purred positive ...

The Last (pound of) Astronaut (flesh)

Author : Gray Blix "At that point, the technology was reliable, but human factors still caused failures. To continue manned missions, they had to modify us. News headlines screamed 'Astronauts Mutilated.' The public hated NASA, but we willingly submitted. All of us, in perfect health, ...

This is How I Sleep

Author : Matt Forshaw This is how I sleep; in a sarcophagus amid the stars, my body quiet and unmoving. There is no blanket to keep me warm, no pillow, no mattress that I rest upon. I do not toss or turn. I do not shiver, though it is cold. My chest does not rise or fall, there is no ...

Bioforms

Author : Duncan Shields, Staff Writer The ship had recently shaved a comet at close to metaspeed. Nowhere near light but still enough to cause pretty serious damage. With silicates, sparks would be flying around the cabin. Since they’d used the bios instead, it was juices and ...

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