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The Glow of a Worm inside a Child's Eye (Cover Art)

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Chapter 10 - The Glow of a Worm inside a Child's Eye[]


"Alicia is seven Earthyears old, and she...


...can do all the grown-up things, like rigging her own pressure suit, and keeping herself clean. She can identify the 25 signs of life support malfunction, and she can read a tech order.

She hasn't quite mastered 'walking' yet. It's so SLOW, especially when you can spin-dive anywhere it's normal.

"Alicia Li!! Get back in here!!" Her mother barked over the suit channel, "You aren't supposed to be on the hull today!!"

"Yes, Mother." She crawled up the hand-rail to the airlock, and punched the entry code. "Whose ship is the big one?" She could see it across the service yard, blunt, bristling with extra antennas, and ports that are NOT docking ports along the hull.

"Come inside before someone sees you." Gwendlyn Nawshenk-Li 213 ordered.

Alicia could hear tension in her mother's tone. Why?

The airlock hatch opened, and she entered, closing it and running the pressure cycle.

"...she's curious like all children, Wendy..." was what she heard as she apeleaped to the command deck of the Nawshenk 11 cargo-and service module.

"...I know, I know. But you know that if Sithers-Deen finds out we've got someone unauthorized here, it's going to skunk more than one contract." Her mother replied.

Ex-Oh, Louis Guan-Deen shook his head, "Relax, Alicia's a Rokkajakkah and a child, nobody who shouldn't know is going to hear about it from her."

"Hear what?"

"What you were looking at." Her mother said, "The Warship. It's a secret, we can't let the Dirtyfeet or the damn Terries know it's here.
"

THAT made sense. The Damn Terries weren't to be trusted, she'd learned that one from birthing to berthing.

"It's a WARSHIP?" she asked, eyes wide, "We have a WARSHIP!!"

"Guest." Ex-Oh said, "The ship is a Guest of the Duke."

"Can I meet them?" she asked.

Ex-Oh and her mother exchanged a look. "Not today. Dd you finish your assignments before you went out on the hull?"

"Yes, Mother."

"Then go to your cube, and bring up the next assignment. In the while, I look over your answers on the exam."


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