Tunnel City

I sat with my back to the girl in labour. Of course, at my age, anyone younger than twenty harvests is considered to be a girl. I could hear her screams, her panting. I could hear the midwife reassuring her, telling her to push. I could hear the girl cursing and swearing, threatening to bring down the wrath of Light onto the absent father of the child she was pushing into existence. The pain of labour always brings out the best humour – and language – in a woman.

In Tunnel City, the greatest respect you could show any other person was to turn your back on them, giving them some privacy. Aside from the midwife and myself, the labouring girl had an entire platform to herself. Anyone with an urgent need to pass, did so with their eyes carefully averted. The hope we all felt for this mother was reflected in the eyes of anyone who happened to meet my gaze as they scurried past. Continue reading “Tunnel City”

Binda Universe

Wracked by war and long-term abuse, Earth can no longer sustain life. Humanity is dying, with the last vestiges desperately scraping together an existence below ground. Salvation is discovered, however, in orbit around Jupiter.

A cluster of bubbles, each the size of a marble, is scooped up by a routine mining craft in transit to Jupiter. During discovery and experimentation, scientists determine that the bubbles can expand. They grow to encompass any volume of air or materials placed inside them, protecting their contents from the harsh environment. Continue reading “Binda Universe”