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31 Days of OtherSpace II: No. 6 – “Everything’s Broken”

“Everything’s broken,” she said.

It was hard for him to argue. The Nall hadn’t left much standing on this block when they pulled out of the Llivori capital on Kamsho. Their home, on the third floor of the Jarmol Building, had two fully collapsed walls. Most of the furniture that hadn’t been blown out onto the street below had been ruined by fire, smoke, or extinguishing chemicals.

“We can start over,” he said.

That got a smile from her, but it wasn’t a happy one. “Again?”

Merrick didn’t care much for the idea himself. They’d lost their entire home universe, it seemed, to the whims of the Kamir and their usual abuses of unspeakable power. Three years ago, they’d been with the refugees aboard Hancock Station during the voyage from Nocturn to Hiverspace. They lived in a shanty in an enclave aboard Comorro for about a year after that. Then they moved to Kamsho; got themselves a small apartment in the city of Vor. He thought they were done moving for a while. Maybe for good. He enjoyed the city. They welcomed Outversers here. Gave him a decent job working on their communications infrastructure. His wife, Carly, worked as a nurse in the main metropolitan hospital.

For a few moments, he just listened to the wind howling through the wreckage of the building. Then he said, “Yeah, again.” He shrugged. “What else are we going to do? Quit?”

She rested a palm against her forehead. “I’m tired of change.”

“It can be exhausting,” Merrick agreed. “But I doubt it’ll go away. Change is life’s only constant.”

Carly rolled her eyes, but at least that angry smile softened. “You’re an idiot.”

“Yeah,” he concurred.

“I love an idiot,” she said.

Merrick smirked. He threw an arm around her waist, drawing her close to his side. “No accounting for taste.”

“I want to go home,” Carly whispered.

Her husband frowned, tilting his head in thought. “Carly…Earth’s probably gone.”

“Probably isn’t definitely,” she argued.

He couldn’t differ with that. “I’ll find a way,” he said. “For you.”

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