Why hadn’t Arch saved the imperial family? Had it been the machine’s impulse to save her first, or had it been her own sudden reluctance to die? The questions twisted again and again through her mind. She couldn’t bring herself to sink back into her channel with Arch. The machine’s thoughts remained quiet and lethal … Continue reading afterlife


gods’ plaything

“I know you want to give up. I know. But please could you just,” Roland gasped, her freezing fingers white as they gripped the stone jutting from the snow, “not.” Every breath felt like inhaling fire. She knew, because the doctors had told her, that the wasting had started there. Breathing felt impossible on a … Continue reading gods’ plaything


It had been weeks since they’d returned to Kabash, back to the pristine familiarity of the throne room and Asim’s obstructed view across the desert. Things had changed in the way that he’d learned they tended to—factors pivoting almost infinitesimally on their axes, just enough to disrupt his sleep and fill his mind with that … Continue reading monument

soul siphon

“Hold still, Pharaoh,” Kashif said. The man had tears streaming down his face, his beard wet with them. “We’re not doing this like we did with Vehemence. You need the rest of your soul.” Asim’s vision swam but he managed to make out the faces surrounding him—Aziza and Akira and Ridley, crowding around him while … Continue reading soul siphon


“Pharaoh.” His mind resisted, trying to remain in its comfortable dream of riding a horse across the dunes of northern Mait, Bellwether stepping along gamely beside him. All of his dreams on board the ship included riding a horse, even when it didn’t make sense—because the constant motion of the vessel, even once he’d grown … Continue reading aftermath


Cam sat on the crest of the hill and kept tired watch. In the undergrowth a few feet away, Eden slept curled around Morgenroth. He listened to them shift in their sleep and felt a sort of drowsy tranquility he hadn’t thought himself capable of. A couple hours ago, he’d heard Barlowe leave—and an hour … Continue reading puppet