Stephanie Bedwell-Grime

Copyright 2014 by Stephanie Bedwell-Grime

Cover Art by Derek Grime

Published by Feral Martian Publishing at Smashwords

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.


Wind drilled sand against my windows. I paused, a mug of stim halfway to my lips, looked through the pressure-sealed glass and sighed.

This is my life now, I thought darkly. I get up. I shower. I switch the cats.

The cats’ roar greeted me as soon as I stepped into the enclosure. Desert Lahti aren't what you'd call sociable. They don't even care for the company of their own species. Still, I have limited space here on my small patch, so I've been trying to spread their scent around in the vain hope that they might learn to tolerate each other. They don't know it yet, but those two are going to mate. I was feeling especially doubtful about that whole enterprise as the scaled desert cats sniffed each other disdainfully, snorting at each other's scents, and hissing at each other through the mesh fence. I eyed them with some annoyance. Did no one in my life ever get along? They loathed each other almost as much as my mother had hated my late BetaaDon boyfriend, Yaub. Which, I suppose, was understandable. Mom was the Admiral, and Yaub was an alien. Even coming from an allied planet didn't make him suitable boyfriend or Heavens forbid, marriage material.

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