One arm sagged. Seven arms writhed and worked, puckering their sucker discs and pulling the joint-being they composed across the slippery rocks. The gaspingly dry, slippery rocks. But the sagging arm — as little as it helped with pulling, and as much as it acted like a dead weight needing to be pulled — had dreamed about crossing the rocks. It had dreamed of wonders on the other side. And seven other arms had listened to those dreams. Been compelled by those dreams, drawn to explore the rocks at the top edge of the ocean. Continue reading “The Dreaming Arm”
Originally published in The Voice of Dog, June 2021
Lieutenant Vonn crashed through the undergrowth of the wild alien rainforest. The uplifted yellow Labrador felt like the branches were grabbing at her, tearing at her Tri-Galactic Navy uniform. She hated this planet. Usually, she liked planets. Ground missions were her favorite — getting off the stuffy, artificial halls of the starship Initiative, and setting paw to dirt. She lived for that stuff — fresh air, walking about in the sunshine! But right now, all she could think about was Commander Wilker and Consul Tor, stuck in a hole in the ground — a deep, dark ditch; a trap lined with primitive pointed sticks that kept her from climbing safely down after them. Continue reading “The Arsenal of Obsolescence”
Originally published in Daily Science Fiction, July 2019
Gary was a humanoid android, programmed to experience the complete range of human emotions. Right now, he was sad. His broad shoulders slouched, and his head hung, framing his handsome face with his beautiful raven hair. He had been designed to be beautiful.
Chirri wasn’t sure what to do with this sad android who’d shown up in her bakery, so she served him a piece of cake on the house. The felinid-alien slid a gold-embossed ceramic plate in front of Gary, and the android stared disconsolately at the piece of fudgy caramel cake on it for several seconds — a very long time for an android — before saying, “I don’t eat.” Continue reading “The Words in Frosting”
Originally published in Daily Science Fiction, January 2018
Sloanee’s slick, sticky amphibioid fingers wrapped around one of Queen Doripauli’s slender twigs. The queen’s sea-green fronds uncurled, caressing the richer green skin of her amphibioid lover. Doripauli’s yellow daisy-like petals brushed ever-so-lightly against Sloanee’s face, and the froggy alien’s bulbous eyes closed blissfully.
How could Sloanee give this up? She had loved Queen Doripauli since she’d first set eyes on the photosynthetic floral alien. Her eyes were pink roses; her mouths were blue irises; she was a living bouquet — color and splendor and everything that was right with a universe filled with infinite diversity. Continue reading “Queen Doripauli and the Sproutlings”
Originally published in Daily Science Fiction, January 2018
Sloanee opened her eyes and felt her heart racing. What was she doing? Lying down? She was on the lam. She should be running or hiding. Nowhere was safe from the royal guards pursuing her. Queen Doripauli and her army of photosynthetic tumbleweed-like aliens would stop at nothing to catch and punish the amphibioid who had betrayed them.
Originally published in The Voice of Dog, August 2021
“Here, let me carry those,” Lt. Vonn woofed to the team of scientists packing a crate with electronic devices that looked like funny mechanical spiders, sprouting metal legs in every direction.
The scientists — an orange tabby cat wearing techno-focal goggles, an arctic fox android, and a very striking brown cat with leopard spots — finished arranging the last few mechanical spiders, closed the top over them, and stepped back from the heavy crate gratefully. Lt. Vonn stood a head and shoulders taller than all three of them — even the spotted cat, who was unusually tall for a cat. Continue reading “Crystal Fusion”
Originally published in Tri-Galactic Trek, November 2021
A cat with ghost-white fur walked into the lumo-bay, the sleeves of his Tri-Galactic Navy uniform pushed up above his elbows and a bucket of electronic tools hanging from one paw.
The blue grid lines of the lumo-projectors usually sketched out regular, hexagonal patterns on the dark lumo-bay walls when it was not in operation. Right now, they looked more like drunk squiggles. Continue reading “Ensign Mewly”
Originally published in Daily Science Fiction, October 2018
Lee-a-lei and her clone-daughter Am-lei perched in the Crossroads Station recreational airlock with their long spindly legs folded. The two lepidopterans exchanged a glance with glittering, multi-faceted eyes. Lee-a-lei was nervous and kept flapping her mechanical wings, but her daughter looked excited.
Am-lei didn’t have wings. She’d followed the traditions of their homeworld and had her yellow-blue-and-purple wings cut off after she metamorphosed. So, she wore a simple zero-gee jetpack like a human or one of the canine Heffens would. The jetpack strapped around her thorax, firmly secured. Lee-a-lei had checked her daughter’s straps several times. Continue reading “Jetpack and Cyborg Wings”
Originally published in Theme of Absence, July 2018
Marga held her broad paw up to the star-studded window, lining it up so a single spark of light tipped each of her blunted claws. Her own constellation. She wondered if any of those stars had habitable worlds circling them. She knew none of them was New Sholara. Not from this window. Not from this side of the ship.
A purple-and-amber-striped worker bee buzzed down and landed on the thick brown fur of Marga’s shoulder, reminding her that life support was limited. She left the window behind and moved from one cryonics pod to the next, starting their rejuv cycles. Bees followed her, buzzing in the air. Continue reading “Thirty Honey Feasts To Go”
Cosmic the Pangolin raced over the hills and vales of Mossy Valley Zone, her clawed feet skipping across the emerald ground so fast her talons left burning skid marks in the grass behind her. She saw a loop-de-loop looming ahead where the ground swerved into the sky and in preparation she curled her head forward, tucking her chin; then she dropped into a complete roll, her entire nebula-purple body tightening into an armored ball.
She raced forward at an unbelievable speed, leaving the grass burnt behind her. She raced the clock. She raced against time. She raced herself on previous attempts at this zone. But most importantly, she raced against Professor Robotron and her diabolical mechanical chickens. Continue reading “Cosmic the Pangolin”