by Christian Monson
Gebra Mahara has found a suitor, but he lives on the Geborian home world, three star systems away. Mahara has chosen my own love Arina to be carrier, and so soon I must bid her farewell.
"It's not fair," I say to Arina. We're lying in our hammock next to the artificial lake outside Mahara's palace. "She could choose anyone to be carrier. Why you?"
"I'm sure it wasn't on purpose," Arina says. "I'm the youngest, the healthiest. It's a long journey. It will take most of my lifetime. Mahara needs someone she can count on."
"You make it sound like you're glad to do it."
"It is an honor," Arina says.
"It's an honor to waste your whole life on a spaceship?" I say. "I thought you'd want to stay. I thought you loved me."