By Lance Erlick
Why is your relationship with your mother so strained? Mom refuses to talk about her work or what she does when we’re away at school. Yet, she brings in enough barter to pay for our schooling. She is also only one of my parents, but she refuses to talk about my other parent. I suspect there is some dark secret. Six months ago, when I stood up to Mom and insisted she tell me, she clammed up. We haven’t spoken much since. There is a gaping hole inside me wanting to know about my past, and wanting my Mom back, but every day she grows more distant and fearful. I can’t imagine what she’s done.
How do you feel about school? School is a waste for me. Don’t get me wrong. I love learning. But in class Mo-Mere is limited to a few official electronic texts she can teach from. With a “photographic memory” that’s more a curse than a blessing, I could memorize all the Federation-approved texts in a day. There aren’t many. Mo-Mere stretches the information out over eleven years, carefully adding her own experiences. What keeps me motivated is detention, which I routinely get. That allows me private time with Mo-Mere. During detention, she shares illegal print books she’s salvaged from private collections beneath the sea in the sunken civilization of Richmond. The Federation could execute her for having these books, or even for salvaging. But I would risk everything for the opportunity to visit Victor Hugo, Isaac Asimov, and other ancient treasures.
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