I don’t remember being born the first time, nor do I remember the First Song they sang to encourage my gene-mother Sita in her labors. There were three of them leading that chorus, Matar and Estrel and Altair.
My gene-father was Matar, star-of-the-rain, and my gene-mother, Sita. Both their names came from the archives of the Original World, which we take for good fortune. Rain and earth; my father was the most talented singer of his generation, and his voice spanned a greater range than anyone’s I ever heard, even on Karis or the Downlink.
When I was small and sat in his lap, I could feel his voice thrumming through me, and I would sing along, in my own range. He had great power as a singer; it was he who taught me how to sustain a note at full force for longer than one would think possible. He knew his own breath; once or twice he gambled his own life on that, to accomplish a rescue. His work-crew had to do with safety and (in worst case) recovery of survivors and casualties alike.
Excerpt from “The Resurrection of Yasmin Sure-Hand,” in Tales from the Inhabited Worlds.
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