By Starhawk

An epic story of freedom and slavery, love and struggle, and the capability futures of humankind tells of a twenty-first century California extended family stuck among clashing worlds, one in keeping with tolerance, the opposite on repression.

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Sample text

Surely not. . She awakened deep in the night with a start. She sat up, and he came over to her. "I'm glad you're awake. " He pressed his combat knife into her hand. "That carcass seems to be attracting something. " She stretched, got up, and selected a suitable brand. She followed him down into the watercourse, rubbing her eyes. The flickering orange light made jumpy black shadows that were almost harder to see into than plain starlight. As they reached the water's edge she caught movement out of the corner of her eye, and heard a scrambling among the rocks and a familiar hiss.

Curiosity prodded her, mulling on his words. " Cordelia's stomach tightened. " He frowned into the distance. They struggled up and trudged on through the woods. The Barrayaran tried to help her more with Dubauer, for a time. But Dubauer recoiled from him, and between the ensign's resistance and his own bad leg, the awkward attempt failed. All his concentration seemed focused on pushing himself ahead just one more step, but he muttered to himself alarmingly. Cordelia had a nasty vision of collapse and fevered delirium, and no faith at all in her ability to take over his role of identifying and contacting a loyal member of his crew.

You could never overlook this," stated Gottyan uncertainly. One does not weep for the living, she thought, but for the dead; in that moment, while Vorkosigan still doubted, she knew he intended to fire. She brought her stunner up, took careful aim, and squeezed off a burst. It buzzed weakly, but it was enough to bring Gottyan, head turning at the sudden movement, to his knees. Vorkosigan pounced on the disruptor, then relieved him of his plasma arc and knocked him to the ground. "Damn you," croaked Gottyan, half-paralyzed.

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