TITLE: Second Sun
GENRE: Science Fiction
Universe-crosser Audra Merritt would risk her own life to rescue her niece and nephew from the government organization that wants to exploit their abilities, and so "fix" the holes leading to the secondworld. The problem: Audra is part of the organization--and sacrificing the children’s lives may be the only way to save her universe from the explosion of the secondworld’s sun.
The ocher rays of sunset flooded the sky, and the light of the alien second sun ate that of our native star. If I were the type of person to believe in omens, I would have considered it a bad one. Good thing I wasn’t superstitious.
“Merritt,” Donovan said. “You all right?”
It was the question you asked when you didn’t know what to ask, because you already knew the answer was no. I lied anyway. “I’m fine.”
Sunlight refracted off the waiting armored van. At just the right angle, the reflections blinded. Same case with my partner’s Steelex armor, which provided a convenient excuse to avoid looking at him.
As we neared our transport, Donovan said, “You don’t have to go. The others and I can take care of it.”
“It’d be worse if it were only strangers coming.”
He didn’t mention that all-strangers-but-one might be no better, considering I hadn’t spoken with my sister for several years. I appreciated his omission.
We piled into the van along with two warden-only pairs, all of us arranging ourselves on the parallel benches to face our respective partners. The vehicle set off down the tunnel. Donovan and I each had copies of Quinn’s registration file. I didn’t need it, but kept toying with the idea that if I could treat this like any other collection, I’d forget that the conscript was my niece.