By Stewart C Baker
5,604 words · 21-minute reading time
November, 2065 - Gayatri
The plural for meeting, thought Gayatri, ought to be headache. And even for a surface stint, where meetings always played a heavy role, she'd had a lot of headaches since the announcement that pieces of their fragmented sister planet would likely crash into Earth in five months' time.
Meetings with companies who used Driftwise as a launch pad; meetings with governments who wanted their space programmes to be given special priority; meetings with the mega-rich, who had pushed their way in to demand the privileges they thought they deserved. Groups of refugees; religious groups; lobbyists. Con-screen meetings with the spindle administrators from Chimborazo and Kenya, and the team that ran the extra-planetary shipyard at EML-1. Then, too, there were the well-meaning UN attaches who spoke at length on nobility and sacrifice and duty, and who didn't want to have to pay for anything.
Meetings, meetings, meetings.
The worst of them all were the ones with the...
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Stewart C Baker is an academic librarian, speculative fiction writer, and occasional haikuist. His fiction has appeared in Writers of the Future, Nature, Galaxy’s Edge, and Flash Fiction Online, among other places. Stewart was born in England, has lived in South Carolina, Japan, and California (in that order), and currently resides in Oregon with his family—although if anyone asks, he’ll usually say he’s from the Internet. You can find him at infomancy.net or on Twitter and Facebook as @stewartcbaker
This story originally appeared in Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show.