The gene-parents and the co-parents explained it all to them, as they rehearsed the steps of the vortex dance, how the ship came every year with supplies for Sarronny Dome, by treaty, and also by treaty they took away with them the year’s output from the mines, as well as those who had been chosen by lot from that year’s adulthood initiates to go to the Academy at Karis.
“But why?” Yasmin asked. Jehen wanted to know why too, but Yasmin always spoke it first.
“Because that’s what the treaty says,” Sita said. “We have things they need, and they have things we need.”
“And we wrung it from them in spite of everything,” Altair said.
“Do they go away forever?” Jehen said.
“No, but it’s a long time,” her gene-father Matar replied,
POV Jehen, age six. From novel-in-progress, Ship’s Heart.
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