Monday, February 13, 2012

The Star Country 1 - Michael Cassutt

""I assume you've heard the news," she said.

"Yes," the alien rasped. "Very distressing."

Aware that they might be under surveillance, Lisa was forced into the ridiculous position of communicating with an extraterrestrial by means of an improvised code. "How are you feeling?" she asked, knowing that, physically, Harrek was fine "Are your greater knees still giving you trouble?"

"I still suffer," the alien replied.

Lisa could easily picture Harrek, hunched by the telephone in the penthouse several floors overhead, the room crammed with support equipment . . . and three other Hocq, including Big Bad Boroz. "Has the . . . uh, doctor given you any medication?"

"Not yet." There was a pause. "She wishes to continue the treatment."

Oh my God, he wants to go through with it! "is that even possible?"

"There is no choice."

Was he telling her that one of his sisters suspected? It was probably inevitable that their plan would leak. You couldn't keep a defection a secret forever--

"Maybe I can help you out. There's some special medication in cruiser three, down in the garage."

"I'll meet you there," Harrek said.

She took a deep breath and looked around the tacky hotel room. These were probably her final moments as a good citizen of Texas. "Ten minutes," she said.

"That will be satisfactory.""

3.5 out of 5