Orange Sherbet logged into the Mythical Proportions VR Cafe as soon as her teacher closed the 2nd grade classroom Zoom for the day. She’d already finished her homework for the evening, and the rest of the week for that matter. The assignments were all way too easy for her, almost insultingly easy, so she’d been working ahead. And she was far enough ahead that the whole rest of the day was hers. Neither of her parents would bug her about wasting her time in the digital world, because they’d just assume she was doing homework, as long as she didn’t do anything to give herself away. VR goggles were helpful that way — they kept nosy parents from peeking over her shoulder to look at her screen. Continue reading “Orange Sherbet Unlocks a Better Loot Box”
Ekko felt the cool currents of water rush past her as she swam with all her might toward the ocean’s surface. Her powerful tail pumped; her belly muscles clenched and released, over and over, as she barreled through the blue. Then with a mighty splash, she emerged from the blue of the deep into the blue of the sky, trading a thick atmosphere for a thin one. Rivulets and droplets of water streamed off her aerodynamic body as she soared upward, leaving the Earth and its heartbreakingly empty oceans behind. Continue reading “Ekko the Orca”
Originally published in Tri-Galactic Trek, December 2019
The alien probe gleamed like a star, small and bright, on the Initiative’s main view screen.
“Can we get closer?” Captain Pierre Jacques asked. The Sphynx cat’s pink ears skewed to the side, betraying his excitement. The Initiative was in deep, unexplored space, and the presence of an artificial object of any sort implied an entire civilization that must have created it. An entire civilization that the cats and dogs of the Tri-Galactic Navy had never encountered before. Captain Jacques loved nothing more than first contact missions. Continue reading “The Farther One Travels”
Originally published in Tri-Galactic Trek, December 2019
Fact was not a fox, but it was easiest for the canine and feline crew of the starship Initiative to think of zir as one. With snowy white silicon fur and yellow eyes flecked by actual gold flakes, zhe looked uncanny enough without worrying about whether zir creator had meant zir to be a cat or a dog.
Fact’s ears were too perfectly triangular to be a dog’s; zir muzzle was too long and narrow to be a cat’s. Zhe was an android, and zhe didn’t mind being thought of as a fox. Continue reading “Fact and Myth”
Originally published in What the Fox?!, March 2018
Lieutenant Libby Unari, a black cat and science officer with a focus on botany, had a tray of biology samples in her lap — cuttings and sprouts, planted in soil samples — taken from a forest moon. The moon itself hung like a green star in the rear window of the shuttle craft, receding into the distance as they flew away.
“That was a very peaceful away mission,” Captain Pierre Jacques meowed. The pink-skinned Sphynx cat didn’t usually accompany away teams down to previously unexplored planets, but he’d made an exception for this forest moon. “Why, I don’t think I’ve felt that relaxed since I was a kitten! I should get off the bridge of the Initiative more often.”
Lt. Unari’s black triangular ears skewed. “I don’t think it was just the break from your daily routine… There’s something very strange about some of these plants. Continue reading “Rapscallions”
Originally published in The Necromouser and Other Magical Cats, September 2015
Jenna was almost asleep when she felt the weight of a cat plop onto the end of her bed. She turned on the lamp on the bedside table and saw Katelynn, her aunt’s dirt-brown tabby, sitting on the bed’s patchwork comforter.
A tiny mouse hung by its tail from Katelynn’s mouth, twisting and squirming, desperate to get away.
Originally published in Lost In Time, October 2019
The starship Initiative glided through space, the technological culmination of centuries of work done by uplifted cats and dogs from Earth. The graceful, swooping lines of the ship’s exterior twinkled with light from within, where the ship’s crew lived their lives. Dogs and cats worked side by side, exploring the universe, searching out other species, and seeking the humans who had left them behind. Continue reading “Encounter at Hoppalong”
Kipper placed her gray tabby paws on the metal orb. It felt smooth and cool against her paw pads. Jenny was explaining everything that she and the other otter scientists had learned about this particular, mysterious relic that they’d found in one of the deepest, most thoroughly locked and booby-trapped rooms in the ancient octopus base on Europa. Trugger sounded fascinated. But all Kipper wanted to do was touch it. She felt compelled, perhaps by feline curiosity. Perhaps by something intrinsic, something sinister about the orb.
Originally published in Tri-Galactic Trek, November 2021
Grawf awoke from her long sleep, yawned widely, and lumbered out of her cot and over to the window. Her ursine reflection hovered ghost-like over the black field of space, a bulky, brown-furred bear in plaid pajamas, dotted by pinpricks of starlight. She wondered where the starship Initiative had flown to, what wonderous places had been explored without her, during her hibernation. Continue reading “Skin of Reflection”
Engleine hesitated with the upgrade chip mere millimeters from the docking port in her beloved Hansel’s head. His mechanical ear flicked, and he said, “You stopped. Why?”
“Are you sure you’re ready for this upgrade?” Engleine asked. Her own conical ears — a biological mirror of his mechanical ones — had flattened behind her long head. She shuffled her hind hooves on the floor, and her keratinous hoof-fingers tightened on the upgrade chip that would push Hansel — her dance partner and best friend — from the seeming-sentience that had fooled her into believing he was fully his own person into an actual sentient robot. Continue reading “Clever Hansel 2020”