Flawless Stars and Dead Jewels

Author: Julian Miles, Staff Writer My orbit is not done. I cannot accept this. A few hours drifting have forced me to admit my stupidity. All the times I cleared up after him, excusing his selfishness as something special, like he shouldn’t have to act decently toward other ...

Nathan, In Acquisitions

Author: Steve Smith, Staff Writer "Manhattan?" the man asks, pulling out the chair across from her before pausing, "May I?" as an apparent afterthought. He sits down without waiting for an answer and waves towards the waiter. "Two more of these", gesturing to her drink on ...

Bait

Author: Andrew Dunn Some would call it a sin, that one man would blindly follow another without question. If it’s a sin like they say, christen it loyalty and all of us that followed Rory Holloman vagabonds sailing far beyond virtue’s bounds. Rory captained the Scarlett. ...

Protocol

Author: Joshua Alexander Disaster. Hacklett wheezes in my grip. His face is slicked with sweat, his eyes ringed and dark. He's dying. Our research on the station has been for nothing. One containment breach and it's all gone to hell. I drag Dr. Hacklett along the ...

Envision a World

Author: John F Keane ‘Envision a world,’ said the guide, ‘where photography was discovered much later than it was. Imagine no ancient discovery of light-sensitive chemicals, no early Greek photographers like Hilo of Tarsus. Imagine, if you can, a world where photography ...

Smoke

Author: Elaine Thomas Somewhere, in a forest, lightning strikes a tree. Elsewhere, in a cabin, a man tosses a log onto the fire. Startled, the man jumps backward, then laughs at himself. He knows any slight moisture left in wood as it cures can emit a high-pitched ...

Excision

Author: Hari Navarro, Staff Writer I killed something inside myself last week. It had been slowly killing me for years so, I have to say, it came as somewhat a relief. I’d been contemplating it for some time. But the gumption to actually follow through wasn’t easy, you ...

Deep in the Archives

Author: Julian Miles, Staff Writer [Translation (from original German) of key document removed from Treasure Hunter site during Operation Rush North (9/16).] OMITTED: Kriegsmarine document reference, location codes, et al. Purpose of record: Confidential interview ...

Nothing to Live For

Author: David Henson The days were all the same like links on a chain. I had to break free. Then came a flash in the middle of another toss-and-turn night. I got to the window in time to see a beam of light retracting into the sky. In the yard was a shape — glowing white, ...

Plant Sequoias

Author: Phoebe Wagner The saplings haven’t grown. This is expected. We are prepped on day one—you will not see progress. Expect none. For this reason, the deployments are for three years. The generational weight was too much for the initial ten-year rotations. We brag and ...

Evenfall

Author: Kevlin Henney The first sun set behind the mountains before she turned to look across the plain to the darker sky opposite. A new star had appeared on the horizon. Rising in counterpoint to the evening suns, it scored a white trail across the sky, dividing the world ...

Pneuma

Author: Caius Finswith “The trick is you can’t look right at them: not like you ever could,” my partner said. It was my latest job on Parrhesia 9 and it was all about the exotics. Transporting everything from radioactive waste to actual grass-fed beef, I’d seen just ...

Lexicon-9

Author: J. P. Roquard Dirk blinked in the bright activity of the bridge. Weapons, comms, dispatch, engineering, even the navigation and FTL stations were active. They were not all needed, but nobody wanted to miss the action. A brilliant planetrise unfolded above them all: ...

Cumbrian Inn

Author: Hari Navarro, Staff Writer A man stands behind a woman as she stands with a pint in her hand and stares at a wall. It’s an old wall, an ancient wall and he cocks his head as he watches. Inhaling, the man ponders as he carefully erects his words and he saddens. ...

Patched

Author: Julian Miles, Staff Writer This alleyway used to be the entrance to an underground car park, now reduced to a metre-width track between piles of rubbish and makeshift dwellings. Toward the back, there are furtive movements. Out front, the only movements are the ...

The Minute Case of the Speaking Ship

Author: Amelia Brown On the first day of the transport job, I stepped off the docking bay, heard the door seal airtight behind me, and then the ship jumped. Which came as a surprise to me. I was supposed to be the one flying the ship. And I hadn’t sat down yet. Not to ...

Liftoff

Author: Adrian L. Cook Avian changed rapidly, seemingly at will. The cobalt blue feathers shielding her arms shifted to red, with crimson ends, the tip of each slightly darker, slightly shinier than the rest of the feather. She fanned her feathers, flexing her wings. The ...

Futurefish

Author: Sebastien Lacasse They washed up sometime in the middle of the night, people said. Swollen as rags with seawater and all aglow beneath milky starlight, their bodies glistened as they crawled onto the wet sand and plopped down once free of the surf. The creatures ...

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