Stories tagged “science fiction”

  • Something is Wrong

    The lights of the medical deck scrolled down my field of vision as I blinked and tried to recover some of my mental function. “He’s awake!” “I just hit him with the general anaesthetic!” “Hit him again!” I shoo...

    • Author: HSAR
    • Posted almost 8 years ago.
    • 5 out of 5
  • Upgraded (Mature)

    I was rolling code – lots of it – and faster than I ever had before. Whole paragraphs of algorithms sprang fully formed across my vision. I was composing symphonies of solutions and feeding them into the system at a blistering pace. But som...

    • Author: Jim Stitzel
    • Posted almost 8 years ago.
    • 5 out of 5
  • Not Quite Right (Mature)

    The captain wanted answers that I couldn’t provide. “They told me you cartos were weird, that you had to be inherently unstable to do your job, but this… this is fucking off-the-charts weird. Tell me what the hell is going on, carto, ...

    • Author: HSAR
    • Posted almost 8 years ago.
    • 5 out of 5
  • Theories

    Harrigan had me checked over again. Visual inspection this time, given the incident with the nanosurgeon. Whatever else it had done, the nanosurgeon had fully optimized the implants. It wasn’t a weld; it was better. They released me with a provis...

    • Author: Jim Stitzel
    • Posted almost 8 years ago.
    • 5 out of 5
  • Binary and Ternary

    The code kept coming, line after line after line, numbering in the millions, then the billions, and kept on coming, a never-ending flow of programmatic creation the purpose of which was still unclear. Sometime in the past, several million lines ago, th...

    • Author: HSAR
    • Posted almost 8 years ago.
    • 5 out of 5
  • Next Moves

    The lights on the command deck were off, with just our stations providing illumination. It was all we had power for. Vec broke the silence. “So. What now?” Valid question. Once the code had stopped generating, it had begun a cascading compr...

    • Author: Jim Stitzel
    • Posted over 7 years ago.
    • 5 out of 5
  • Into the Unknown

    Humanity had been using the jump logic for almost seven decades, but since the initial, incredible discovery of the code that could bend spacetime, there had been no other notable progress. Cartographers now learned the same rules as they did sixty-odd...

    • Author: HSAR
    • Posted over 7 years ago.
    • 5 out of 5
  • Route to Nowhere

    A request. After the rather hostile takeover of our shipboard systems and my own mind, a request from the overseer for instructions seemed almost laughable. I swiveled my chair and let my fingers do what came most naturally to them. “What’s...

    • Author: Jim Stitzel
    • Posted over 7 years ago.
    • 5 out of 5
  • Streamlined

    Our blocky little ship spun around and pointed nose-first into the jump zero, ignoring the precious radiation shield plate at the back of the ship. There was no radiation spike as our delicate prow entered the zero, however, and the external sensors no...

    • Author: HSAR
    • Posted over 7 years ago.
    • 5 out of 5
  • The Unknown

    We drifted. When your entire frame of reference has been removed, there’s little else you can do. There were no stars, no constellations, no dust clouds, nothing visible anywhere that could give us an idea of where we were. It was dark in every d...

    • Author: Jim Stitzel
    • Posted over 7 years ago.
    • 5 out of 5
  • Altered Heading

    Like a subterranean sea creature, we edged towards the light. The properties of this jumpspace appeared to be similar to our own existential plane, but there was no point in risking repercussions from using high-radiation, high-intensity thrust. The li...

    • Author: HSAR
    • Posted over 7 years ago.
    • 5 out of 5
  • Outbound

    There were a series of dull thuds and reverberations as the docking arms pulled back from the hull of the Pontificus. A slight vibration and the chemical engines moved the ship away from the dock, and then a low rumble heard through the engine’s ...

    • Author: HSAR
    • Posted over 7 years ago.
  • Making the Trail

    The trio of sleek black ships at the end of the pier look far too futuristic to be docked to the large industrial arms. If you stare hard enough, you could just about see the huge engines protected by inches of entropy shielding, with the smaller conve...

    • Author: HSAR
    • Posted over 7 years ago.
    • 5 out of 5
  • Ruins

    Dust and debris crunch underfoot as I turn stiffly in the cumbersome hazard suit, checking the ruins for survivors. Just two days ago this had been a buzzing shopping district with tens of thousands of shoppers swarming around the massive mall district...

    • Author: HSAR
    • Posted over 7 years ago.
    • 5 out of 5
  • Investigation, Communication

    We floated in a sea of light. It surrounded us, suffused us through and through. There was a strange sense of intelligence about the light as it, well, the only way to describe it is that felt like it was investigating us. It wasn’t invasive; it ...

    • Author: Jim Stitzel
    • Posted over 7 years ago.
    • 5 out of 5
  • Symbols

    We sat in near-silence for a long moment, staring and trying to make sense of the symbols. “They look… familiar somehow,” was my first thought. “Like I’ve seen them before, but I’m sure I haven’t.” Harrig...

    • Author: HSAR
    • Posted over 7 years ago.
    • 5 out of 5
  • Deadline

    “The last backup battery just died.” The flight director finally laid his head on his desk. “So, that’s it, then? The world’s done for, and we have no way to bring our probe back.” If only everyone could know just ho...

  • Symbology

    I studied the symbols again. Their architecture was clearly alien, and yet their sense of familiarity was unmistakable. They meant… something to me, but I wasn’t sure yet what that was. Cartography was part of it, certainly, but there was m...

    • Author: Jim Stitzel
    • Posted over 7 years ago.
    • 5 out of 5
  • Trial and Error

    Immediately the flow and ebb of the computer system, familiar to me as a life-long friend, pulled me into its embrace. I wrote a core shell, extended it to transmission preparation, added flange modules and self-regulating failure-coherence blocks. But...

    • Author: HSAR
    • Posted over 7 years ago.
    • 5 out of 5
  • Final Frontier

    The restraints were tight against my chest almost to the point of restricting my breathing, but they were necessary. I flicked my way through banks of switches, checking the giant rocket over and over again. No-one had ever done this before; everything...

    • Author: HSAR
    • Posted over 7 years ago.
    • 4 out of 5
  • NavComm

    I peeled myself out of that reality and sat rubbing my temples for a moment. It took that long for me to realize that everyone was looking at me. “Well?” Harrigan demanded. I sighed. “It’s… complicated,” I replied. &...

    • Author: Jim Stitzel
    • Posted over 7 years ago.
    • 5 out of 5
  • whirling darkness

    Darkness. Silence. I was alone with my thoughts. I could no longer feel the pressure of my armor against my skin. The pulse of the life support system was also gone. I tried to speak, but the only words I heard were in my own mind. “Hey…...

  • Top-Level Logic

    “This must be the logical next step up in terms of cartographical thinking. I can only assume the same race that we reverse-engineered the jump turbine technology and the overseer from made the same discovery. Our computer recognises them because...

    • Author: HSAR
    • Posted over 7 years ago.
    • 5 out of 5
  • Field Report

    [field report from the datastack of Expedition Leader S’ri-Leun] The dominant language on planet ‘Earth’ is known as English. It is simple enough to master; I have instructed the entire Expedition to learn it. Earthpeople are primitiv...

    • Author: Trillian
    • Posted over 7 years ago.
    • 5 out of 5
  • Cartocommunication

    That sense of being investigated pressed in on us again, and this time it was invasive. The intensity of the probing made my head swim, and for a few brief minutes I lost all sense of time and location. The moment passed, and I shook my head to clear m...

    • Author: Jim Stitzel
    • Posted over 7 years ago.
    • 5 out of 5