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Alriel

The dirt’s like glass shavings and the three suns are blue and distant, but some of the old Earth knowledge still works: their trap line yields three plump smeerps for the stewpot that night. Alriel stirs them over the fire with a stick like a birdbone.

“Do we know if these things are safe to eat?” asks Delorem, glancing at the dwindling pile of S-rations.

“They’re just rabbits dyed green,” says Alriel. “Here, try some.”

Delorem sips with an unconvinced expression. “Tastes like chicken.”

“Don’t you mean iku’unu?” sneers Alriel, before the boiling smeerp-spores embed themselves in her face.

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