Emerald and Amber were each named for the rich, gemstone color of their eyes. Other than that, the sister cats looked the same — each with fur as black as the night sky and elegantly curving whiskers as bright white as shooting stars.
Other cats in the neighborhood shared whispered rumors that those bright white whiskers could grant a wish to a cat brave enough to fight the pair and yank one out. No cat had ever tried. The other neighborhood cats knew better than to challenge Emerald and Amber. It was too important to stay in their good favor. Continue reading “Their Eyes Like Portals”
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 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”
Originally published in Exploring New Places, July 2018
Captain Pierre Jacques sniffed the air on Planet 227. It was dry and sweet, very still in his whiskers, and chill on his bare pink skin. None of his science officers had mentioned being cold, but then Captain Jacques was the only Sphynx cat in his crew. Everyone else had fur under their Tri-Galactic Navy uniforms.
“It’s exhilarating!” Captain Jacques said, eliciting a polite but distracted nod from the nearest officer, a junior scientist tabby who was busy scanning the unusual red-brown rock clusters with a uni-meter. Continue reading “The Rocky Spires of Planet 227”
Originally published in Shark Week: An Ocean Anthology, June 2021
Salty air tickled Commander Wilker’s long nose and whistled past his pointed ears. The light ocean breeze ruffled the long fur of his Collie mane. He placed a paw gently on the hull of his shuttle craft, parked on the small, sandy island in the middle of a yawning purple-blue sea. He was waiting for his co-pilot to join him, a local to this watery world.
Though he wouldn’t mind if they were running late. The Collie dog had seldom been anywhere as peaceful as the surface of Kallendria 7. There was an entire, technologically advanced society on this world, but it was all beneath the waves. Up here, he could have been standing on a completely untouched, unpopulated world. Nothing as far as the eye could see except for rolling purple waves, deep blue sky, and the occasional silver sand island. Continue reading “The Unshelled”
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 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 Allasso, Volume 1: Shame, November 2011
The stars were thick, but the moons were thicker. Every year for the last decade, Earth’s sky had grown brighter with the reflected light of new lunar satellites. Generally a half a dozen small new moons per batch. Jordan had been working hard. He was a Labrador Retriever by heritage, and, back in human pre-history, those had been working dogs.
Ever since he was a pup who hadn’t yet grown into his giant feet and floppy ears, Jordan had known what he wanted to do with his life. He’d spent all of high school working hard at the car wash, saving his nickels and dimes, and staring up at the stars at night. Continue reading “Fetching Asteroids”
Originally published in The Daily Grind, April 2019
Sunny reached for the strap of her ecto-pack, but before she could pull the bulky piece of technology out of the sedan’s hatchback, an imperious feline voice rang out from the driver’s seat: “What do you think you’re doing?”
Sunny mumbled something about gearing up, but Ripley, the small white cat who was the de facto leader of the Ecto-Busters, cut the yellow lab off. “You don’t need an ecto-pack to run into a cafe and pick up a quick snack.”