Debt to be Paid

Radiation reached his skin through UV-resistant clothes. "Four-hundred-thirteen billion credits for today's contestant! If he survives..." A hidden crowd cheered. He retrieved his only permitted secret ingredient with a blistered hand. "What's today's contestant chosen for us?" Blinding light. The crowd gasped. The glare receded and he staggered forward, balancing a platter, alien delicacies piled... Continue Reading →

Promised Waters

Solar floodlights expose the beachfront like daylight. Crowds gathered there nightly to escape the endless heat, their music drowning the waves. I move on over slippery rock-pools and round the cliffs further up the coast. Human sounds fall away as the cliffs lower to reveal a river mouth and marshy swampland, visible now beneath unburdened... Continue Reading →

Perfect Timing

The crew struggled, working endlessly to keep their great hulking mass of a ship sailing across the fabric of space without tearing apart. Their destination orbited a minuscule point of light. Almost too far now with damaged engines. Almost. Directly ahead hung a glittering planet of ice. They met it among the limits of its... Continue Reading →

Just One

Career day, they'd say. Detaching from the cerebral collective, I scour the repository, wanting to remember on my own. It's been many a century, but I'll make change there. They've all held strong to their core designs, I'm sure. "Ah! Found it," I cease searching. "This is your ultimate decision?" Great Mind asks. "My only... Continue Reading →

Little Things

Almost unshielded, Earth is hotter now than my last visit. Yet, its natural chaos is still wondrous. These humans don't plan well, their cities struggled with the changing, despite how gradual. Chaos is hard to protect, to regulate. Impossible, they said. But humans inspire me. Their fragility breeds courage, authenticity. I had to return. Despite... Continue Reading →

Earth’ling

Readings returned slightly less than optimal levels, but their shuttle-mind assured them of safety. The first creature stumbled out, overwhelmed by colours. The browns and blues and golden yellows were not where they should be. And it hadn't ever seen so much green. Their journey from the dying world began generations ago, long before their... Continue Reading →

Swift Passage

The alien planet hung like a pool of blue. Their only stop on a one-way journey. Their vessel's final dregs of energy concealed them in orbit while their shuttle fell into the alien atmosphere. The violent entry rattled the shuttle, pilot and crew breathed deep lungfuls, fighting to clear their minds, to imagine a paradise... Continue Reading →

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