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

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Chapter 80 - The Glow of a Worm inside a Child's Eye[]

"The calculus...

...of hyperspace travel is rooted in complex variables. Thus, why it's so hard for most people to grasp the equations." Arthur was visiting Elizabeth. "it's almost alive out there, you know."

"Uh, that's cool..?" Arthur Steiner-Davion looked a little confused, "Is that why I flunked the test?"

She nodded. "Yeah. It is, you don't have the 'knack', it's not a bad thing, Neither of my parents and neither of my brothers could wrap their minds around it either. If they were to, say, hull-surf? they'd see nothing but colorless chaos, they wouldn't hear the Choir."

"But you do?" he asked

She nodded, "Yeah, I do...and I can't begin to describe how beautiful it is. I think it's what Heaven will sound like when I go...but I had to be patient, because my place is here and the time for here is now, you diggit?"

"Not really."

"Means it's not time for me to join the song yet." Elizabeth told him, "at least, that's what Li told me-it's not time for me to go, so I have to be wherever I am...which is harder than it sounds, because it means I have to pay attention." she flashed a grin, "besides, I gave my word."

"You're on really good drugs." he said, "Right?"

"You know it, High as a ****** kite." she told him, "Mostly painkillers and muscle relaxants, but they added some heavy-duty antibiotics this morning-my seizure was an infection in my Brain. Meningitis, we think it's from some exposure during the audit tour."

"So you're still on schedule?" he asked worriedly.

"Yeah." she nodded weakly. "I am. it didn't do a LOT of permanent damage, but I'm definitely sick with curable-sickness on top of the syndrome. actual stage two is supposed to be worse...tellya what, I'll tutor you okay? you might make it past the exams if I can get you to wrap your mind around the basic formulas?"

"I'd like that." Arthur said with a nod. "I'd like that a lot. They found another Caspar."


"Yeah. It's being brought to a secure yard in the Federated Suns."

"Hey, maybe if I can teach you the math, they'll let you fly with her."

"Her? I thought germanic tradition was that ships were male..."

"Caspars aren't just ships...and they're female." Liz asserted firmly. "Always. and if you want to make a friend of one, you need to know the maths! so pull out your padd, we're going to start your apprenticeship. I don't have a full master's ticket, but I passed my first Journey-level tests. I can walk you through the basics."

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