My mother Laila-Istvan was sixty-seven when I was born, from genetic material she’d set aside when she came of reproductive age. In ageless stasis, it kept fresh; my gene-father was nearly two generations younger, young enough to have been her grandson.
She didn’t come to rest, to the rearing of a child, until late in life. Her traveling-companions didn’t include my gene-father, but our notion of kin is somewhat more expansive and elastic than some places planet-side, Karis for example. Now we don’t do clan-marriages like them; we form pairs or groups of traveling-companions, and the more dangerous the trade the larger the circle if there’s a child in the picture. Sometimes a mother or father makes a gamete-gift to a traveling-circle; those of us old spacers who daren’t risk it but still want a child are happy for such generosity.
We don’t own our children but owe them.
The narrator is Taryn the Outlander. From character interviews for the Ship’s Heart universe.
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