The Black can be a lonely place for those of us who work and live there in the long roads. Travelling huge distances between the different colonies and outposts. Trade has to happen, cargo needs to be transported. We need to be here.

In many ways, the biggest challenge to a merchant travelling the lanes is an internal struggle, to keep the void at a distance and to hold on to that essence of identity amongst the vastness of it all. But every once in a while, the void will challenge you in new ways. Ways you wouldn’t believe…


Hatsu Takahashi had been an amateur astronomer since her father bought her a simple telescope for her eleventh birthday. Since that day, she had been captivated by the beauty and vast expanse of the universe that was her home. Planning observations and working to capture images to increase her knowledge of the stars and constellations had become a driving passion. Every week she would go to the parks around Fuji, away from the light and noise of her city and explore the heavens.

With bicycle laid on the ground, backpack open and kit everywhere, she worked to set up the tripod supporting a far more advanced telescope than that of her childhood. There was urgency in her actions and concern on her face.

Tonight the sky had become alarming and dangerous. Tonight, life would change forever.

The Green Vale Affair

Hubble-8 puffed out some corrective thrust and re-directed its primary telescope at the object 20,000 kilometres away. Adjusting for the low light intensity the optical lens motors corrected focus and corrected again, high powered LIDAR scanning activated to reinforce the sensory input and obtain any additional detail quickly. Information channels opened and data streamed back to Earth listening stations with priority alerts.

A sudden intense heat began to build across the tiny spacecraft as instruments brightened to a white out, internal temperatures rising from -200 to 1500 degrees Celsius in less than a second as components and internal circuits died. A burst transmission escaped the destruction of the satellite.

Urgently, a covert group of global leaders quietly assemble on the Orbital Command Platform named Green Vale. A select group to implement global corrective action.


Jagen Robertsson part III

He had changed. He could feel the world about him becoming unfiltered, somehow louder. He would take to his room for days at a time, speaking to no one, closing the world out with shutters and darkness. But his mind wouldn’t rest and he would perpetually relive experiences meshed with improved data from new sources, his brain correlating and building ever more detailed pictures of the world. It was overwhelming.

He needed to resolve matters before he went insane. He needed to get back to the monolith on Fastvatn.

The only trouble was, there were those who didn’t want him to return. Three kidnap teams had been foiled already, he knew there would be further attempts. He had become the most valuable commodity on the planet – the key to unlock all their futures.


Jagen Robertsson part II

In the underground cloisters of an old cathedral to the god of Light, a small group of anti-government rebels waged a fight for truth. People were dying because of the structures which were appearing around the planet, governments were attempting to keep things quiet, understanding only that the technology to deliver these monoliths was far in advance of current understanding and as such could only contain mysteries worth killing for. From his point of view this thinking was muddle-headed, but Jagen Robertsson had been privileged enough to be shown a glimpse of where these structures had come from. An advanced past long forgotten, or a future yet to be? The confusion of the vision was unclear, but a drive to unravel its secrets had become all consuming.


Jagen Robertsson part I

The western most island of the Scandinavgrupp, Fastvatn, had been quarantined, rumour was that it was volcanic or seismic activity which had moved the government to enforce a military perimeter, but there were other stories. One of those stories was his, the true story, the factually accurate story. How did he know this? Because he had been there.

Staring at his remote deck, he unplugged from his encoded link on the public network and folded it into a small tablet no bigger than his hand, he unhooked the physical scrambler unit from it and stowed it in one of the many small pockets in his jacket, his deck he slid into another. He had little time, he had to move. It didn’t matter how good his obfuscation was, it would only slow the government down for so long. So far that time had been his escape window, but he knew it was only a matter of time.

He rose from his seat and exited the cubical. The holographic figure in the corner continued to dance erotically, the music thumped a rhythmic beat, the pink and blue neon lighting flashed out as the door to the room closed behind him. The corridor was as dark as his future had become. But truth often lurked in shadows.

The Collector

Removing junk from the orbit of Earth was a new and exciting project for all involved. They had attempted to use drones to do the job but nothing quite worked like a pilot on the spot to assess the situation and make crucial decisions. When an anomaly is detected, Captain Gibson is on hand and able to make the call. But when does human curiosity betray good judgement? When does the human instinct to help others become a liability? Is the truth always worth knowing?


The planet killer asteroid which destroyed the ISS-3 but somehow bounced off the upper atmosphere and continued on its way into the void, concentrated minds, and focussed political will around the world. With a new found mandate, the space faring nations of the world embarked on their largest project since the Mars expeditions. Twenty six years after humanity’s near demise, AstrIID came online.

Eli A-19

Human exploration to the stars is a risky business. For the corporates mitigating that risk falls to the Enforcers, a group of operatives sent to seek out those who damage and destroy company property, who impede productivity and work against the common good in the mining facilities of the outer asteroid belt. Several industrial off world accidents had now cost the corporates vast sums in damages, litigation and material rebuilding. Solutions were required. Solutions were found. Eli A-19.


Being a surgeon meant he got to play with the most expensive toys. The Haptic Surgical Suit he wore was worth twenty years of his entire teams salary, but worth every penny. Once his weapon of choice would have been the scalpel, today he was more fighter pilot than a surgeon. Zipping up his suit he entered the haptic chamber and prepared for battle.