by Beth Cato
If there is any justice in the world, Priscilla Reardon's associate-hatchling will be a walking, talking pile of dung. But even if it is, everyone will probably applaud and say it's gorgeous.
My whole class, Priscilla included, is from the same creche batch. We turn ten today, of age to get our requisite associate.
The raw bioengineering took months to form them in the lab. Associates are derived from native stuff around the colony but complement our DNA, skills, and future occupation-line, too. A pet, but a lot more. More of a survival assistant.
We had all gathered around Priscilla's incubator. Hers is third to hatch. Her mom is financier of the colony. Everyone wants to be Priscilla's friend.
No such popularity when you're me, stuck in a mobilizer, with common clerks for parents.