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them in my lifetime, and spread out into them in hers." He hugged his
daughter.
The tears that had filled my eyes broke free and rolled down my cheeks. I
stopped the interview; it was over and in the next part a scientist narrator
told about Yamamoto's method for plotting the locations of the origami
points the thin places in the fabric of the universe where space and time
could be most easily folded. Then it told of the first manned hyperspatial
flight.
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Lisle, Holly - Hunting the Corrigan's Blood
Isas Yamamoto had been right about humanity settling the stars in his
daughters lifetime. He'd been wrong about Old Earth's people reaching the
stars in his own. He was a passenger aboard
Alice's
Looking-Glass
, the first hyperspace ship.
The
Looking-Glass successfully traversed hyperspace without requiring the
predicted impossible amounts of energy. It followed the same short path
Yamamoto's probes had taken, from one side of the moon to the other. The
course was preprogrammed: go out, broadcast a prerecorded message, and come
straight back. The ship slipped from one side of the moon to the other, sent
its message, and returned, making Isas Yamamoto a hero whose name would live
as long as men breathed.
But
Alice's Looking Glass returned from her short journey incomprehensibly twisted
and mangled. The four explorers inside lived long enough to babble about
having been gods. Then they died, leaving hyperspace to long emptiness until
we created a hull strong enough to withstand the enormous reshaping forces
hyperspace applied.
I sat in the darkened holo-room, looking at the man I had chosen as my soul
father. When I was ten, his story sang to me with the glories of invention and
martyrdom. By the time I was fifteen, I yearned to follow in his footsteps. At
eighteen, a terrible thing happened in my home, and my mother accused me and
put a price on my head. I ran away, stealing some of my mother's money and
taking Badger with me; my home city in my home planet still listed me as
wanted for murder, kidnapping, extortion, thievery, and a swarm of lesser
crimes. Death waited behind me for the woman I once was, but I reached my
stars. And if hyperspace humbled me with the fact of my own insignificance,
still I survived.
I was Isas Yamamotos spiritual daughter, and I had followed my dream. I'd won
the stars he desired. I
had my own life, my own ship. If I was insignificant compared to my infinite,
all-knowing meta-self, still this mortal iteration of me had not let the
universe pound me into submission.
I sat up straighten This job for Peter Crane was going to pay off my ship, and
leave me accountable to no one but me.
"I thought I'd find you in here," Badger said, and the lights in the holo-room
came up.
"I'm too predictable." I rose and turned.
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We hugged, and in that hug there was the wistful tenderness of one-time lovers
who cannot be lovers anymore. "You aren't predictable at all most of the time.
But when it has been a bad crossing, I know where to come."
"I survived it." I tried to sound invincible when I said it, but I don't think
my intended air of invincibility came off too well. After the humbling fist of
hyperspace, I yearned for Badger and for his human touch with a hunger akin to
pain. I did not let myself see the kindred hunger in his eyes. I loved Badger,
but I
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Lisle, Holly - Hunting the Corrigan's Blood carried too many scars on my soul
to give myself to anyone. I tried once, and I made both Badger and myself
miserable. So I smiled a bright, false smile. "And how about you?"
"I'm still myself," he said. "I keep hoping that one of these days it will get
easier."
We laughed together. We both suspected it would get easier when we died. Not
before.
We walked down the corridor into the galley, and Badger told the shipcom to
begin his meal. By the time we reached the galley, the reconsta unit, an old
Berliner Reconsta-Chef, was humming to itself.
While it built his meal, he leaned against the unit and his voice dropped to
just above a whisper. "I have some interesting news. I created a tiny little
passive steady-level trace to keep an eye on that& um&
patch on our hull& " The chime dinged softly and he retrieved his meal from the
unit. He settled into a seat so he could watch me while I ordered up my own
food. "& I just wanted to see what it was doing, you know. It obviously is
designed to use energy but it has no internal source of energy and isn't
hooked into a visible external one."
He paused, waiting, and I gave him an encouraging nod. My own meal Steaklite
and Potataline, Cornjoys and a steaming cup of Tea Magic finished cooking and [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]