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

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Chapter 32 - The Glow of a Worm inside a Child's Eye[]


You are a biological human, you need your 'gravity time'...

...and Mad Hatter is earth-equivalent one gee and a contained environment within what is your inherited Duchy." Tabiranth explained. "SLDF Regulations require a minimum of two months under one gee for every four months spent shipboard, Elizabeth, this is especially true for a girl who is still growing. I don't have the fuel reserves to maintain that kind of gravity."

"But...it's boring." Lizzie is nine, it's 3046, and she's had to attend her grandfather's funeral on Kowloon, before being bundled back up to where she could be protected from assassins.

"There are things you should learn there, too, Liz. Life support, Aeroponic and Hydroponic agriculture, recycling, life cycles, and physical education I can not give you here on my deck." The AI was adamant. "It is for two months this time, because you spent four months with me in space. I will be nearby, and you can contact me, but you must do this."

"Ayeh, Mum." Liz said semi-sullenly.

"Treat it as preparing for your adventures as Baroness-you will have to go to Tharkad to do your swearing in in only a few years time, and you will have to be able to interact with other humans, not just machines and Spacers."

"But I want to be an explorer!"

"Not until you're an adult, and can make that choice with a full understanding of the opportunity costs involved." Tabby affirmed. "you remind me of another little girl who loved space, I met her when she toured my decks, when I was new, before the Coup and before Lord Simon died-his oldest daughter was also named Elizabeth. She ALSO wanted to be an explorer, but her duty came first, and so should yours."

"Was she talented too?"

"I could lie and say she was, but Elizabeth Cameron was not talented as a spacer...she did not have your gifts for calculus and mathematics-she was more of a...'people person'."



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