Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Home Is Not Home: Home Is... Vol.01 Chapter 2

Home Is Not Home
Home Is… Series Vol.01
By Dannis
©2009 Dannis Cole
©2009 DanniStories
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Similarities to any living persons are purely coincidental. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the writer’s imagination or are fictitiously used. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, events, or locations is entirely coincidental.
Cover Art and Design By Dannis
Home Is Not Home : Home Is… Series Vol.01 / By Dannis. 755p. plus Appendix pp.A-N and Index pp.-1- to -41- = 818pp. 5.25‖ x 8‖ or cm.
CreateSpace ISBN – 9781448661015
Library of Congress Control Number: 2009934549
1. Science Fiction – Colonies. I. Title
PS 2009
813‘ 2009
Home Is Not Home : Home Is… Series Vol.01 / By Dannis. DanniStories Cuthbert, GA
ASIN – B002HMDGO6 (Kindle Edition -2009) - Kindle Book.
1. Electronic Books. I. Title.
PS 2009
813‘ 2009
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Dedicated To Susan S. Kyle, AKA Diana Palmer, who taught me everything I know about writing. My sister has encouraged me and believed in me all these years, and I hope her faith in me will not be in vain. To Susie, who took me with her to the library often when I was a child. Her passion for science made me love it. We used a telescope to look at Mars and the Pleades. We looked at ant stingers with a microscope she bought. Such adventures we had together!
I have fond memories of the model kits we put together, and of proofreading her first draft of The Morcai Battalion. Now, I am eagerly awaiting Morcai Battalion: The Recruit, which is yet to be released on Kindle from Luna Books under the name Susan S Kyle. If you haven’t read The Morcai Battalion, you should, and it is available on Kindle under the name Diana Palmer. I couldn’t put it down! I also enjoy Diana Palmer romances, published by Harlequin. My talented sister writes great
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romances, but I think her science fiction exceeds great!
This Home Is… Series is dedicated to Susie. She watched it grow. Now my dreams of sharing it with all of you are happening, and I want all of you who read this to know that my sister is my inspiration. I strive to learn to describe my scenes as well as she, so that you feel transported to another place for the time you spend reading. May you also enjoy my sister’s stories.
 Dannis, Cuthbert, GA, July 17, 2009
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Books In The Home Is… Series
Home Is Not Home
1st Volume in Home Is Series
Home Is New
2nd Volume in Home Is Series
Home Is Far Away
3rd Volume in Home Is Series
Home Is A Place Of Healing
4th Volume in Home Is Series
Home Is A Difficult Journey
5th Volume in Home Is Series
Rainbow’s Start, Vol. 1 in Rainbow Series
Home Is Change
6th Volume in Home Is Series
Rainbow’s Start, Vol. 1 in Rainbow Series
Home Is Unwell
7th Volume in Home Is Series Dovetail:
Rainbow’s Start, Vol. 1 in Rainbow Series.
Home Is Refuge
8th Volume in Home Is Series
Rainbow’s Start, Vol. 1 in Rainbow Series
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Home Is Memory, Home Is Illusion
9th Volume in Home Is Series
Rainbow’s Start, Vol. 1 in Rainbow Series
Home Is A Dream Of Well
10th Volume in Home Is Series
Rainbow Stories, Vol. 2 in Rainbow Series
Home Is The Reign
11th Volume in Home Is Series
Rainbow Stories, Vol. 2 in Rainbow Series
Home Is Not Ye~
12th Volume in Home Is Series Dovetail:
Rainbow Stories, Vol. 2 in Rainbow Series
Home Is Rainbow
13th Volume in Home Is Series
Rainbows Growing,
Vol.3 in Rainbow Series
More To Come….
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Table of Contents
Dedicated To ii
Books In The Home Is… Series iv
Table of Contents vi
2. Hear An Otherworlder 28
3. New Partner, New Feelings 57
4. Disgrace 100
5. Exile On Ye~ 121
6. Desert Soul 191
7. Family Memories 232
8. Courtship At Last! 262
9. Dangerous Missions 322
10. Become Queen 367
11. War Training 461
12. Missing 470
13. The Ribbon Tested 486
14. Queen’s Work 500
15. Ryee’s Mind 507
16. Captured 523
17. Emperor of the Seven 534
18. Eriganh 542
19. Journey 550
20. First Galaxy Peril 568
21. Destination 583
22. Time Stops 604
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23. Ryee’s Help 613
24. Progress 637
25. New Routines 669
26. Off The Ship 718
Epilogue 744
Index -1-
Appendix A
Novels B
Home Is… Series B
Rainbow Series G
Other Novels J
Novellas J
Dannis’ Feedback Links M
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Home Is Not Home
By Dannis
I squinted through the mist at the boxy cluster of buildings ahead of me. It took me close to five mins to walk to them, but I needed this walk. I loved the colors of the bright flower petals; the multicolored foliage. No time after my day's work to walk, and I did not enjoy walking in the rain, even if I had time. My mind raced as my feet tried to keep up with my memories.
―Adia," my twin sister told me, "you should plan your time more carefully. Walks do not have to be squeezed in when you are already in a zip to be there." Her green eyes always glittered when she knew she was right.
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"Perhaps I am in a zip, but you know that the Emotion Detectors have just been refitted. I need the walk." I emphasized the statement with a toss of my long red hair.
―Become breathless, and the Emotion Detectors may take it for anger. You need the walk too much. If you were to slow down a little, like me..." I could never be like her. She was the quiet one, the 'good' one. Never set off an ED in her life.
"You got all the emotional control; I cannot just open a dimportal to the Spaceport and expect to hide my excitement from the EDs. Not today."
Maia rolled her eyes dramatically. Thank goodness gestures did not set off EDs, I thought. My sister kept perfect breath control through her favorite avocation: singing.
"Your excitement. You have only been speaking of it for weeks." My twin sighed. "Just because the government of Areon has given special permission for an
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Otherworlder scientist to share his research with us does not mean our colony is getting any less isolationist, despite your hopes to the contrary. Why should it? Remember, to allow other species on Areon might bring more problems. Especially here in Lilmerica where most of Areon's defense research is; the EDs are more sensitive here and we do not need any emotional species to come in, set them off and disturb our tranquility. Especially as emotional as the Yeff! How many times has the visitor set off the EDs and been questioned on his previous visits?" She paused for a long, slow breath. Green eyes studied me, and I wondered if she thought of the times I set off EDs. One hand gripped the cream-colored table next us, the dining set we barely used together in this time of long work hours.
"Perhaps we have too much tranquility. I am not the only one who complains about EDs and our rigid laws.
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Many of my coworkers have already found work off-planet."
"If I did not know better, I would think you might look off-planet as well. The government does not view off-planet employment as loyal, either. You know that. Most of them gain passage through unorthodox channels unless their records are exceptionally clean." She might well have added that mine was not, so many ED violations in my past five years on the Eicken Project.
"Maia, you do not understand, and I do not have time to extrap.‖ My irritation nearly escaped me. ―Excuse me, before I miss my weatherless interval." I turned quickly. Faced the cream-colored wall that had no features to differentiate it from the rest of our small deciplex. Other homes appeared much the same. Too much sameness.
As I stepped through the wallportal out onto the walk, mist rose from the lush
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vegetation. Beautiful red and orange flowers as large as my head towered over me on both sides in front of our house. Red and orange were Mom's favorite colors, and Dad had not cared. I would have had purple hues like the ones of our neighbors to the right. My eyes caught the ED hovering at the intersection of our walkways, about three meters off the ground. Such ugly devices, midnight blue dull metal cylinders with rotating circular fins. If I had comment on their design, the fins would be of a lighter color so the rotation would be visible. Also there would be, not angled circular fins, but rings so they would be pretty. Silver and gold and purple rings. In the right width, ridges to give some wind currents, made of terrilium alloy--calculations raced quickly through my mind--I smiled at the thought. My family would think me mad, wishing to decorate EDs! Except for the flowers, everything, from our clothes to the
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featureless buildings, were as plain as possible. Not practical to ornate things and people. Waste of valuable time and material. Our lives were as bland as the cream-colored buildings, the drab walks, the muted colors of furniture.
I walked faster. We ARE supposed to try to better each other. After all, we have no violence here in Lilmerica. Emotion Detectors and all, we live peacefully, as long as we all try to conform. Nitrogen saved from control over high emotion benefits all of us until our science can turn to terramods again. We could be out on the Ring where the War is. Our family enjoys many advantages since our parents and I work on the Eicken Project. I only wish we had time to know one another.
Better think about something else; concentrate on the sweet fragrance of the RosFlowers and the brilliant colors of the imported WWyez. Get my mind off the upset; concentrate on the tranquil. Do not
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get emotional. Conserve precious nitrogen. I passed the deciplexes. Looked at the Aud looming over the sand-colored buildings that comprised the Spaceport. Blue sky added color during our rainless times, but mostly, it was gray with clouds. Unseen collectors gathered energy from the clouds, so there was never thunder, as in the stories Mom told me as a child of the place our people left. She did not enjoy speaking long of it. Most of my questions lay without answer.
Beautiful flowers and fragrant fruits stretched all the way to the Spaceport. Bright colors that differed every day. They contrasted sharply against the low, almost-white boxyness of the rows of deciplexes, warehouses, trade offices and larger research centers. The Aud, in the middle of the Spaceport of Eicken, dwarfed all the other buildings that stood an easy walk from any of the outskirted residence rows. Paths of the same whiteness melted from
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the sands of the adjoining Barrens. Spread to and from all buildings around the city of Eicken.
Walks soothed me; most of the people I knew saw the mandatory twentymin daily walk as an unwanted interruption. But then, most of the people I knew here worked by the Spaceport: scientists like myself, engineers, info scientists, trade specialists, government workers. All of them serious and industrious. Their work supplanted the War effort. Most of them scoffed at recreation, leaving it to their children; not they did not wish time with their families, but how much life here could change if the War moved closer! I enjoyed the small respite from my rigid work schedule, but I took my work seriously. A breakthrough in the Eicken Project could protect our colony and increase trade. Someday the War will end, and perhaps EDs might become an ugly memory. I felt sure a solution to
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nitrogen would come easily with the bright scientists of Eicken!
Because of our ever increasing work hours, it seemed I had less time with my parents than I did with my sisters -- if only because Aronna was too young to work -- and Maia, an info scientist, worked from home. I saw both of them every day; some days my path and that of my parents did not cross. And the older I became, it seemed, the more my views differed from my family's. The ED's were a good example.
"Yes, EDs are bothersome, but necessary." Dad shook his silver head. "Most of us set one off perhaps twice in a Standard year, take our scolding from the DFs, and tighten up. It is not cause for rebellion." His blue-gray eyes seemed to tighten, as if obeying his words.
"I do not consider interrogation a simple scolding; words do not cause fainting -- "
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"The pain is brief, and does no damage." He gave me a warning look that told me Say no more. I almost set an ED off immediately; I barely calmed myself before my racing heart would bring the DF. Maia and Aronna sided with our parents; but all day long at work, we scientists discussed the things that frustrated us: Emotion Detectors foremost. None of us believed, from a scientific point of view, that a lack of them would cause us to take our work less seriously. Or use drastic amounts of nitrogen; use of our breathers did not set off EDs! We resented the expectation of increasing our workload until we got results. So many experiments to run to get one positive result that might lead to another; yet we also had to maintain discipline and worry over setting off the EDs. We were tired. We were disillusioned. And most of all, we were sick of the War and all the sacrifices it required. Had our forefathers not suffered enough through
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genetic alterations? I shuddered to think of their hardships: many changes had to be made to adapt their bodies to substitute nitrogen for oxygen. A bitter irony that the science of the time led them to believe nitrogen would always be more plentiful than oxygen here; both escaped from our atmosphere in large quantities through use of the Molecule Mill and so our wasteful past left us in peril. If the War did not end or pass us by, we would not survive another hundred years as a colony. The Core failure of sixty years ago almost ended us. Could we even resurrect the past knowledge of terramods that we needed to save our colony, if using all our resources to protect ourselves from the Kajarians?
My coworkers, they had dreams of romance, of marriage, of leaving Areon to find fortunes on other worlds. They cared not for saving our colony. Our future.
Me, I could not discuss my dreams with anyone. Too busy working to even
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consider finding time to spend with anyone I might later be courting. I did not want romance under these circumstances; and I certainly did not want to abandon my home. Yet, how would anything change if I lived out my life here? These things were too close to my heart to tell anyone. My coworkers would try to solve my puzzle by some scenario of applying to the Science Council or the Traders Service. Whatever means involved, it meant boarding a ship outward bound. And I did not have a perfect record of emotional control as they did. Such as I would never get Areon's permission to leave; truth by experience. I should merely be satisfied with my life as a scientist and admit my failure to keep my record spotless, accept this situation of my doing. So why, late at night, did I look at the stars with such longing? Lying to myself about wanting to stay? My home never felt as if it were truly home.
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"Adia! Walking again! Faster or we will be late." Citstasia Wilnes' impatience hovered on the brink of setting off the EDs. She stood in front of the Trade building, looking quickly from me towards her left, glancing at the Aud with her gray eyes as if it would sprout engines and leave. As she tossed her long auburn hair, it almost slapped a ped, who walked around her towards the left. Except for him, the walkways spread most deserted. My friend and I shared much discomfort over the red in our hair. Most Kajarians had red hair. Anyone with this curse faced avoidance and harsher criticism of work. My holos enjoyed trade despite three inquiries apiece; hers did not pass two, and our relationship seemed more distant with time. Citstasia spoke of little beside opportunity off-planet. Her work suffered greatly; I often did part of hers to save her more criticism, yet my effort had no effect to bring us closer. "We
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still have three mins, and it takes precisely two point eight to get to the Aud."
"Yes, but it will take point two to find Ossy, Vonn, and -- "
"There are Ossy, Vonn, and Derees by Hangar Four. Oh, and Tanda joins them now. See, Citsa?" I pointed to the nearest of the boxy white featureless buildings. On the other side of the cluster, slightly larger than the other four, stood the Aud. "You were saying?"
"So what do you know about the scientist who is lecturing?" Her voice lacked inflection or enthusiasm. A toss of her head did just that. Her straight auburn hair stayed in place, perfect strands in perfect layers. My hair constantly worried my eyes--
"He is Yeff, has done some interesting research, and is here to discuss his recent breakthrough in server telepathy and the psi particle." I tried not to smile.
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His holos—I found him very attractive—and he looked my age. Futile dreams!
"Infoserver telepathy. So he is giving the government a way to make EDs able to invade our thoughts? I thought the government of the noble moon Ye~ was on our side. Someone should tell him he is supposed to be helping us fight the Kajarians."
Why did I even think to speak? "The main purpose of the device is to try to help our pilots command more efficiently to save ships, and get information from captured Kajarians, very useful for espion. It might help us to catch up to them before they absorb us all." She knew that. So why did I bother telling her? I silently wished I had thought for a millimin before opening my mouth. She always teased me with those halfserious statements. I knew her and the others for the last five years, yet I did not feel that I knew them at all as far as predicting their reactions. How did she
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manage to stay one step ahead of the EDs while I-- No, not now.
"Director Pragate will begin the prez." Citsa ignored my embarrassment, as usual. "I hope he does not speak so long this time. Last week I most fell to sleep, waiting for him to finish." Her face seemed to carry only a few expressions, as if she were part Bisillip.
"You and I. But, he is new. Not experienced in speaking to groups--"
"Too busy increasing our work so we see less of our families, then he speaks to try to justify it. More of us are seeking work off-planet, so--" she stopped as we came to where the others stood and they joined us.
"Apparently you believe me now. I did say they would have to use the Aud since there are so many of us now." Ossy Koch spoke with a sweep of his sandy hair.
"Ossy. You are so glad when you are right, are you?" Citsa frowned at him.
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"Especially in the lab. Did you notice my brilliant breakthrough of earlier today? I discovered a complex organic to entice Adia's sister Maia to fall madly in love with me!" His light brown eyes seemed to sparkle with delight at our mocking reaction. "I will choose her green eyes over your blue ones any time. Her hair is even more copper than yours. And longer, too. Her serene manner--" he dodged my swat.
"Just wait till they clone your twin and see how I carry on about how much betterlook he is than you." Maia and I were nearly identical twins. Both of us preferred to keep our hair long; the same length and style, and our curls even curled under in the same places. Ossy always tried to persuade me to change mine, but Maia and I had no problem with looking alike. Why could he not leave me alone? My halfhearted attempts at the joking we once enjoyed brought me nothing but irritation. It seemed much of it left them laughing at me.
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Had I lost my ability to enjoy their company?
We all strode faster to keep up with him. In the distance, the yellow suns shone brightly in a blue cloudless sky. A few more mins in this beautiful scene would certainly improve things for me. The rain always destroyed the little pleasantries of my life. I loved the plant life on our colony, but the price of almost constant heavy rainfall exasperated me.
"Our guest has been detained by Otherworlder Authorities--" Ossy smiled, and I wished to slap him.
"Otherworlder Authorities? He is not in trouble, is he?" The thought of anyone having to answer to the government made me flinch.
"Well--I am not sure, but I heard he has set off three emotion detectors since he came here yesterday. I guess they want to make certain he is not half Kajarian or something." His voice was half-jesting as
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he winked at me. "He is probably a lot like you." He pulled at the back of his wavy hair.
I trembled at the thought of interrogation or--the Therapy. "That is more than I have done. I only set them off on special occasions." I smoothed out the front of my lab coat where the gentle breeze flipped up my pocket flaps. They had seen me set off EDs, and never let me forget. I felt so out of place with them now. Even the pockets of my lab coat marked me as a nonconformist; to be Areonian one must wear plain clothing and practice austerity. Under the lab coat I wore my usual purple dress, ankle length and featureless, although I progged the clothing formers to give me pockets on my dresses as well. It helped me to have somewhere to put my hands when my emotions threatened to bring me trouble: I kept several objects there to hold onto. Perhaps a childish need for something magical to protect me, but
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just wrapping my fingers around the smooth cube-shaped crystal I found recently somehow comforted me. I did not even know what it was. I appeased myself with the thought of my next trip to the Barrens where I had found it. So long since my last free day. Perhaps another would be announced soon.
"You need to be more careful. The Protectors are installing more sensitive EDs. You will not have but five seconds anymore to control your emotions." Ossy gestured towards the floating dark blue cylinder at the corner of the Aud. It looked different; slightly larger, and the rotating fins were thinner and angled more closely to the surface of the cylinder. I could see the DFs reforming an ED a good twenty meters on down the walk, the bluish glow of the tools' energy reflecting on the dull dark blue surface of their metal hands. Their shapes changed according to the work they performed and the tools needed. To me,
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they resembled floating disembodied arms with ever-changing numbers of fingers. Ugly, like the EDs. I would make them with heads and smiling faces. Maia liked to write personality progs; together we could make inorganic simulants to do maintenance and interact with people at the same time. Such insanity! The impact of Ossy‘s statement jerked my mind from its distraction. Five seconds! Could I slow my breathing so quickly?
"That is another refit this year." I took a long, slow breath.
"They are trying to make us into simulants." We stood before the small featureless boxy extrusion beside the wallportal. The light of the genescan read us silently. After it disappeared back into the beigeness of the wall, we entered the Aud.
Our eyes took a min to adjust. The Aud held one hundred of us and our colleagues filled most of the seats. These
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buildings aged two hundred Standard years, never updated. Looked like something out of the holograms of the Colonists; the floor sloped downward from back to front, although now that we had terminals at every seat, the antique configuration served no useful purpose. The seats arched in neat vertical rows from back to front, self-adjusting to keep each person sitting at a slightly uncomfortable straightness to encourage attention. Rows jammed together tightly to fit many of us into a small space. The seats themselves were dark blue crescents set onto a post, narrow even when at full self-adjusted width. No padding of any sort, typical of our austere seats. Once I sat upon an Otherworldly chair in the Trade Office, a gift from the Yeff King. It felt so comfortable, I did not wish to leave even though my business there was not pleasant. Why could we not have comfortable seats? And, what manner of species enjoyed chairs that emitted a
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warmth like that? I imagined them as more caring about the welfare of their workers, although my attitude probably did not reflect reality. I could not understand the attitudes of our blonde-haired Kleideu neighbors, their insistence on the differences of their language, their culture. How then, could I understand a species so radically different from my own? Somehow, I expected to learn something about the Yeff from this presentation, and yet I tried to convince myself that I would only have more questions, not more answers. My practicality failed to convince my imagination.
I leaned towards Ossy. "How do you pronounce it again?" He did a lot of trading for our section, which put him into a position to see the man in the Traders Circle. Ye~ supplied us with minerals for shipbuilding.
"Ree-OWN-nuh-ee. And make sure to make the 'ee' sound like you have
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suddenly run out of air." He pretended to be in deep space without a suit. I frowned at him. The Project officials would not approve of Ossy's attitude, even though common scientists like us would not have an opportunity to speak to him here and violate protocols. I wondered if the Otherworlder's manner would be as comfortable as his world's chairs. What would I say to him if I had the chance? Sadly, I knew I would surely offend him by my utter lack of skill with foreign languages. With a discreet motion, I pulled my breather from my pocket. Held the red cylinder to my throat and enjoyed relief. I seemed to need mine more often than--
"Hey, get your mind out of the Gerra Region and listen!" Citsa always seemed emphatic about everything. It surprised me the emotion detectors never went off when she spoke. Her auburn hair curled about her face like a crest, especially when her irritation rose.
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―What was that, Citsa?"
"Do not call me Citsa here, please. Keep nicknames for when we are working." Her gray eyes narrowed as she scanned the Aud. "I asked you if you had seen Director Pragate; he is so strict on punctuality, it is odd that he would be late." Citstasia Wilnes, the only person I knew who could use that irritated a tone and smile at the same time! "What is this fascination of yours with Otherworlders? Learning to pronounce an Otherworlder's name. An utter waste of time! I am not pleased about having to interrupt my work for this presentation, and he is the cause. Besides, our seats are near the back of the Aud. He will not notice us. Perhaps this will not take long." She gave a loud sigh. Citsa was slightly taller than I, but only two years older. I found her almost as difficult to understand as Ossy. She seemed to think of me as far younger than she and needing instruction. I turned my eyes to the front of
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the Aud. Forget my irritation. It seemed, lately, that I told myself not to think about everything now. A footnote haunting my thoughts; I wondered how long I could distract myself before I faced the Therapy, anyway? Perhaps I would have one triumphant discovery so that my holos in the journals would live on, if not on Areon, on other worlds I would never see. My popular research holograms probably kept me from the Protectors even now. Trade slowed dismally in Eicken Project holograms, yet mine traded exceptionally well for some unknown reason. Otherworlders interested in ANW?
I looked at the faces of my coworkers, complaining to each other about the delay in their work as we waited for others to find their seats so we could move forward. They would not miss me if I no longer worked with them every day. Who would think about me but my family? I waited for the EDs or the ANW to make an
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end of my short life, struggling against time for some miracle to help my research give meaning to it before it ended.

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