The end was a message in a bottle, locked in a chest, left behind in an abandoned castle at the heart of a forest. Tara leaned back in her chair, watching the leaves slip by, and smiled. The carriage was making good time along the roads, rickety as it was and uneven as they were, and the breeze carried the faintest smell of woodsmoke in through the quarter glass. Overhead, she could hear the coachman grunting commands to the horses from his perch, and beneath her she could feel the thrum of the wheels turning over beaten earth. The trees were tall and uniform, blurring into one as they rushed past her window; they stretched out in every direction, as far as the eye could see. It was like a mirrored corridor in a parlour trick, reflecting itself onwards forever.
Books 1 & 2 (to date) can be read at: Deep Sky Stories
He was a grandfather lying in his bed, surrounded by loved ones. His body bore the scars of time. His face carved with lines from some cosmic sculptor. His body broken. Each breath building towards his last one. His family was with him. He knew it was coming but didn’t want them to know, and right before the last gulp of air, he smiled.
Did you ever try explaining to a six-year-old what happened to the dinosaurs?
Warning: Potential spoilers for the episode ahead.
Her caramel skin couldn’t save her. Her Master’s Degree in Computer Science couldn’t save her. The rank of major couldn’t have prevented this. The blue and white sheets that stretched just under her chin only served as a modest comfort blanket from the hell that she just went through. Her mind was afire. It was 4 AM. The lights illuminated. She looked down at her bracelet which read her name and blood type. She laid in a Naval hospital and watched as the nurse entered the room to check for vitals. Nurse Vivian stood at about five foot seven inches and walked over to her and spoke. Ophelia feigned sleep.
“Corporal Stevens,” crackled the radio of my re-entry pod, “Come in, Corporal Stevens.” It crackled again, followed by a brief period of radio silence.
“I'm sorry, Sir—but are you completely mad?” My assistant, Jonathan, asked me on a particularly brisk Thursday morning as I enlightened him to my proposition. We were walking in the park opposite the Venusian Experimental Celestial Colonisation Laboratory in which we both worked. “You want to—what?” he asked again, in utter disbelief.
“If this boat hits one more swell, I swear I’ll hurl that slop they called breakfast back up on the deck.”
“You mean I can’t even get a square? No e-cigs? Nothing?” The woman shook her head no and placed a patch on her arm. Her eyes rolled back in her head. “Damn, that feels good.” This spring day, where the blossoms have burst open bearing the gifts of the trees, saw the predawn decades before the Great Transition in the state of Delaware. Before every right was respected, the lawmakers had to tinker with the apparatus. Yellin Boer, gaunt and smart in dress and appearance, strolled up to the counter to buy some nicotine gum.
The babies cooed at each other in a playpen. It was large. The structure supported about 30 young children who looked like multi-colored cherubs. Soon came crying. Tears rolled down faces like water oozing from a spring. A single cry turned into many cries. It grew louder and louder. Their bodies fidgeted and fussed. Adults, mostly women with breasts bare and men with no shirts on their backs, rustled towards the infants. It didn’t matter whose baby one picked up. All of the adults owned all of the babies. No one cared. The women fed the babies. Their baby? No way. They just took up a child and let him or her nestle up to their bosom.