Until we meet the wider world, we think “our ways” are “the way.” You learn the geography of each of the Inhabited Worlds, and the spatio-temporal fabric of Ordinary Space and the Jumps, but in spite of the mathematics of relativity, you keep the quiet bone-deep assumption that Karis is the true center. Other folk have peculiarities, not your own. And your own family, of course, is ordinary.
I learned differently, but there was a price. Most of that price was paid by someone else: Jehen and Ferenc, but to an unimaginably greater extent, Yasmin.
But that’s a story for another day. I am still absorbing the shock of seeing Jehen after fifteen years, as long as my namesake, Martisset yr Astok the Elder, served as a starship captain.
Excerpt from “Voyage, Interrupted,” in Tales from the Inhabited Worlds.
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