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The Impossibles

Kristine Kathryn Rusch


Alarm, six a.m. Earth time—the whole damn starbase ran on Earth time. Barely a moment to rub the sleep from her eyes, roll out of her bed, and bang her knees against the wall, just like she had every morning since she graduated from law school. Not quite the top of her class. Okay, twenty-fifth. Not the middle either, not last. Near the top, close to the top. Not in the top ten or even the top twenty—not in the area where she could’ve gotten recruited by some firm, somewhere.

Didn’t matter that she went to Alliance Law, best school in the Earth Alliance, harder to get into than any school on the Moon or on Earth, harder than Harvard or Oxford or Armstrong Legal Academy. Only two hundred students qualified for Alliance Law every year, and only one hundred graduated three years later.

Those statistics meant nothing. All that mattered, apparently, was the top twenty. And Kerrie had been just five spots away from a guaranteed recruitment.

That was what she thought about every morning when her knees smacked into that wall. Then she would debate with herself: was it the 90 on her second-year contracts exam? Or the essay she had to redo five times for her Earth Alliance Agreements class? Or the party she went to that last week of first year that caused her to get up late for her Torts final, making Old Man Scott dock her two points for tardiness?

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