Thursday, July 13, 2017

Book of the Week: SLIPPING THE WEAVE

Commonwealth Novel
Khybors story

From Writers Exchange

“The only Khybor?” Dr. Teller frowned as he settled into his desk. Then he shook his head and a weary chuckle escaped him. “Is that what they’re telling all of you back in the core worlds?”

“Well, all the adults were slaughtered and the children were so badly damaged they needed life-support tubes and had to be shipped off-planet to better equipped medical facilities. There were all sorts of stories of equipment problems and sabotage, and needing to do a purge of the staff here, because the Set’ri had infiltrated some of their own to prepare for the attack.” Rorin thought for a moment, while the administrator just watched him, that hint of a smile waiting to emerge. “What is idle speculation, what is hopeful theorizing from our enemies, and what is self-defensive lies?”

“Granted, we did do all we could to hide the numbers of the children who survived the massacre and what condition they were in. Yes, all of them required life-support tubes. And yes, we did consider shipping them off-planet for more sophisticated care than we could offer them. However … we’re a long way from Vidan. It wasn’t just the communication lags that slowed down our decisions and asking for assistance.”

“The higher-level facilities were reluctant to help, reluctant to take the children? Public sentiment was entirely in our favor for a while.” Rorin sighed. “For a while.”

“Exactly. We couldn’t guarantee that the hangers-on of the attackers weren’t still in the area. All we needed to do to complete the massacre was let the children out of our custody, put them on a ship, under the control of one person with Set’ri tendencies. All their ethical guidelines and healer vows wouldn’t matter, like wet paper in a tornado, compared to Set’ri dogma. We chose to take our chances with the equipment we had, with people here who valued the children and supported Khybor survival. Then …” That hint of a smile returned. “Then it didn’t matter anymore.”

“How many children did you lose? The stories that filtered back to us said there were major equipment problems, all sorts of strange things going on. No one could be sure if it was the planet itself, the supposed curse of Norbra from the ancient myths, refusing to let any children live on this planet, or something worse was happening.”

“Hmm, that’s interesting. I know the first generation or two that tried to settle here did reinforce the stories of the ancient queen and the punishment of the higher powers, but … Yes, that much is true. We did have equipment problems, but it was related to khrystal interfacing with the equipment.”

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