Popular stories

  • Strategic Assets

    The Office of Strategic Assets was responsible for a number of things: planetary deuterium stockpiles, mothballed military bases, and reserve nuclear weapons.

    We'd all been shocked three years ago when the order came down to unseal one of the black sites…

    Posted 2 days ago
  • Electric Raven

    Inside the safe was a rack of thin metallic briefcases, bearing coded nameplates.

    Badger, Dragon, Efreet… Raven.

    I tugged on the case, but it wouldn't come free. Then I noticed the warning placard inside the door of the safe.

    "NOTICE: Secure Files wi…

    Posted 2 days ago
  • On Hold

    I tapped the mute key on my terminal.

    "Boris! Where's the QS-19 document safe?"

    The sleepy NCO looked up from his morning tea. All our shifts had been rearranged by the crisis.

    "Nineteen? Sub-basement. In the vault."

    "Seriously? Okay…" I unmuted the m…

    Posted 2 days ago
  • Shh, part 12

    Together they walked into the softly lit apartment. A half of dozen candles offered warm light and Lenn could feel some heaviness lift off his shoulders. After a moment the front door closed behind them and Ruger's footsteps followed them.

    “You'll have t…

    Posted 3 days ago
  • Frenchman Flat

    Beckton felt Newkirk slip a handful of bullets for the Springfield into his pocket.

    "Were you expecting this, Beckton? They have two heavy hitters."

    "We knew they had an interest in you, but we didn't think they'd move like this."

    "I can't take them. I…

    Posted 7 days ago
  • Shh, part 14

    Lenn hated the way her spasms, electrified her face in pain. “Oh my God, Liv.”

    “It sounds worse than it is.” Liv said with a wan smile. Lovingly she scritched his thigh.

    “I hope so.” Lenn unzipped the mouth of his backpack and fished out one of the ther…

    Posted 33 hours ago
  • Shh, part 11

    “Come on, man. Just move. I'm not leaving the cat out here in the storm.” Lenn said. “There's no food, it's wet, and it has nowhere else to go.”

    Ruger hunched down. “I told you, I'm not letting you bring your damned cat inside.”

    Lenn didn't move any clo…

    Posted 7 days ago
  • Helen of Bikini

    Beckton smoked a cigarette himself while Newkirk scribbled down a long note for his factory chief.

    "It is a shame. I was almost finished with this. We put Fireball in a Bofors cannon - quite a lot better than Firebolts coming out of a Browning machine g…

    Posted 9 days ago
  • Shh, part 13

    The hallway wasn't long enough to break into a full run and Lenn barely registered the pictures of strangers that lined both walls as he went by. Guided by the only light coming out of one of the three doorways at the end of the hall, he felt like the cap…

    Posted 2 days ago
  • A Horse - and a Gun

    Story is marked as mature

    Posted 4 days ago
  • X-Ray

    An explosion echoed outside. The pair, seasoned veterans both, were in motion without a word. Beckton drew his pistol and ducked behind a workbench. Newkirk joined him a moment later, handing him a Springfield rifle which he took gladly. Both men watched …

    Posted 8 days ago
  • We Weren't Ready

    We weren't ready for the aliens, but should have been.

    They first got our attention with a series of six X-ray bursts out beyond the orbit of Neptune, one for each of their massive ships. Each was so bright, it took hours to tell that this wasn't a comet…

    Posted 2 days ago
  • Bringers of the Final Weeks of Life

    There is no Christmas morning planned this year.

    We might not even see a Halloween.

    The doom-predictions' date will soon be here,

    And our defenseless bones will be picked clean.

    .

    We can see the waters rising, see the waves;.

    They claw and grope and maul …

    Posted 9 days ago
  • Well, where are they?

    "Where are the time travelers?"

    Excuse me?

    "Where are they? Shouldn't they be crawling all over us?"

    Oh, you're worried about the Temporal Fermi Paradox?

    "Like, 'where are the aliens' but for time travelers? Yeah."

    The same things apply, but it's wor…

    Posted 8 days ago
  • Tube Alloys

    The ceiling lights cast yellow pools of light, but did little to keep the space from feeling gloomy and deserted. Huge constructions of steel stood here and there in the vast hangar, silent and dark at this time of night.

    The stillness was interrupted by…

    Posted 11 days ago
  • Shh, part 10

    “My names Lennart Larsson. I'm looking for the occupant of 163 C.”

    “Goddamnit, Lenny.” A disgusted voice said.

    Lenn's gut twisted. The voice belonged to Liv's brother, Ruger. What was he doing here? He didn't even live in Japan. Still, he rallied gamely…

    Posted 8 days ago
  • Brilliant Stardust

    Lurking in the corner of Michelle's basement, the partygoers gathered in groups all around me. My eyes followed him as he mingled.

    "I love that dress!" he said to Sara.

    "Hey, the pass you made was awesome, bro!" he called to the quarterback.

    He chugge…

    Posted 11 days ago
  • Burning Coals

    They fought on. Orthael gave ground again and again, knowing that he could not - would not - strike her. She threw him a dangerously open slice, daring him to show her that Fire destroyed without meaning or mercy. But that was not the case. He caught her …

    Posted 5 months ago
  • Shh, part 1

    Threading through the streets, past storefronts that still had power, Lenn kept one hand on his wallet and used the other to hold his poncho's hood closed. The rain had been hammering the city for five unrelenting days and it wasn't scheduled to let up fo…

    Posted 17 days ago
  • Expert System

    "Is it correct that those present are only: Lieutenant Georgia Whitmore and Chief Petty Officer Boris Nenashev?"

    I tapped "yes" on the onscreen prompt.

    A synthetic voice began reading along as further text appeared.

    "Voice interface authorized. Lt. Whi…

    Posted 8 hours ago
  • Old Ways Are the Right Ways

    "Sensei," I knelt and bowed low, forehead touching the mat before the master. I sat up and he regarded my face and my demeanor.

    "What troubles you, child?"

    "I keep trying and failing to execute my new move."

    "What makes it new?"

    "I've been adding an e…

    Posted 8 days ago
  • Shh, part 9

    Three-hundred twenty-three mind-numbing steps later, he had crossed the second street, and followed the labyrinthine path through the body of Liv's apartment complex. There must have been stoppages here because the water flowed slower and he didn't have t…

    Posted 9 days ago
  • Imaginary Light

    Around her, the air glowed with imaginary light.

    A scintillating galaxy of text, artwork, and signage drifted just above every surface, ethereal and invisible without compatible hardware.

    It ran up walls and windows, across sidewalks and streets. The gr…

    Posted 22 days ago
  • Trinity

    The professor drew deeply on his cigarette, the end burning brightly in the semi-darkness. He was lost in thought for a long while, then exhaled a cloud of smoke.

    "I hoped to spare the world further horror, Beckton. Or at least my own conscience."

    "You …

    Posted 10 days ago
  • Shh, part 8

    Lenn struggled against currents of howling wind and driving rain so strong they felt like the spirits of speeding buses. Keeping the cat protected was almost too much for him. He tucked the arm cradling the cat further back like an American football playe…

    Posted 10 days ago