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By Robert Charles Wilson

Within the twenty-second century, humankind has colonized the sunlight method. Starflight is feasible yet highly pricey, so humankinds efforts are keen on Isis, the only within reach Earth-like global. each molecule of Isian lifestyles is spectacularly poisonous to people. the full planet is an everlasting point 4 sizzling region. regardless of that, Isis is the main fascinating discovery of the millennium:. Zoe Fisher was once born to discover Isis. actually. Cloned and genetically engineered through a faction in the hothouse politics of Earth, Zoe is optimized to stand Isiss terrors.

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She did not argue. She sat there staring at the door, making up her mind that Nan was going to come after her at any minute, they would surely have talked to Nan by now, and Nan was going to come down here and handle the station legal people the way a stationer knew how to do. And she'd tell Nan it wasn't the way it looked, she'd tell Nan everything—at least the part about Ritterman and the other man, and Nan would understand that, Nan would back her story about not being a free-consumer—And the Thule stationmaster would give her a personal apology and a thousand cred too, of course he would, that was the way station justice worked, every one in the Fleet knew that, the way they knew there was thanks from stationers for favors done or a memorial to the Fleet's dead or a shred of support from the merchanters who had persistently smuggled war supplies and intelligence either side of the Line, then cried piracy because the Fleet supplied itself the only way it could—with no damn help from the stations, none from the merchanters, none, at the last, from Earth.

She ignored the looks, got her chips and her sandwich and her soda, tucked the chips into her pocket and walked out on Thule's little number one dock, where a cluster of lights blazed white on the gantry, spotting the area where dockworkers went about their prep, Thule's usual muddled, seldom-flexed system of operations. She gave a disgusted twitch of her shoulders, looked at that port, swallowed bites of sandwich and washed them down with soda. Damn, that ship was a problem, it was a major Problem, it bid fair to cost her neck.

0 bu y rm er Y F T ra n sf o ABB PD er Y So they were Mallory's spies, most probably—but not with Mallory, not too legitimate, since spooks had regularly sold information to any bidder. And going onto that ship was a case of hiding in plain sight. If she could learn the moves, learn the accent, learn a spook's ways—then she could get along on a spook ship, damn sure she could. Dangerous. But in some ways less dangerous a hire than on some merchanter on the up and up, with a crew that expected a merchanter brat to know a lot of things, things about posts she'd never touched, especially about cargo regs and station law, things that never had been her business.

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