Short Excerpt from The Invention of Motherhood

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Now Available for pre-order on Amazon or other fine retailers. Official launch October 2, 2017. Only $2.99 in e-book form!

It really was no mystery what I had to do. I was pregnant with a Seventh Order child that would put a target on my back if others knew or found out. The only course of action that made any sense was to blend in and do absolutely nothing out of the ordinary. I sent notification that I was ready to take more work before I was even done with the startup checklist. No, I didn't restrict myself to cargos within the Imperial Home Instance - I'd already removed that restriction, as expected.

I tried thinking like an enemy. If you know you have a Second Order Guardian like me protecting a potentially valuable thing like a Fifth Order child belonging to one of the Great Houses, and you know she's a pilot but you can't penetrate her graycode, what do you do? You look for something a little out of the ordinary that a person in such a situation might do. The alternative is setting up scans of literally every pilot module you have access to.

My pilot module was a little out of the ordinary, but not as much as you might think given Earth practices. There really hadn't been a reason why I'd ordered one with so much space. Yes, I had room for several kids plus dogs plus visitors, where most pilots really only had room for themselves in a standard module. But there really wasn't a reason for me not to have already obtained such a module, and there weren't any ties between the graycode I'd used to order the module and the graycode I was using as a pilot. The graycode I'd used to buy it was a plain simple 'cash only' graycode. It would be more fruitful checking to see which pilots were posting part or all of their own cash bond to lessen insurance costs - and I didn't stand out there. Matter of fact, because I wasn't posting a full value bond personally despite the fact I could well afford to do so might well throw off someone looking to find us via data mining. You didn't look for pilots who should have kids in school because that wasn't the way things were done. Imperial children get their schooling from automation and their parents. You didn't look for homeschoolers because everyone homeschooled. In fact, it was routine for children not to be registered at all until they were ready for their first adulthood exam. No birth records, no pre-natal care that could be tracked because the Empire didn't keep records and even if they had, I was a healer myself. There was nothing to indicate to the Empire at large that I was pregnant.

That didn't mean that nobody knew, however. I knew. Asto knew. My Earth family knew, and the Scimtars knew. Everyone but my Earth family understood the stakes and could be trusted to keep it secret. Trying to pry it out of any of the Scimtars would be next to impossible as well as insanely dangerous for anyone under Sixth Order. But my Earth family would never understand if I could indoctrinate them for a thousand years each. Worse, they were Mexicans by culture. Children were a reason to celebrate in any sane culture, but for Mexicans, babies were something to tell the whole world about. More so if a member of the family they're particularly proud of is having one - and my family was proud of me. I'd considered not telling them even though it would mean dealing with relatives being angry and offended at not being told when they did find out. But I'd decided against that course of action because the odds were that someone would figure it out anyway. The Scimtars were important within the Empire, and their rivals could be expected to devote some noteworthy resources to watching them. Given the capabilities of Imperial technology, any special attempt to shield from their intelligence apparatus would more likely signal them that there was something here worth going to a bit more trouble for than that it would manage to succeed completely unremarked.

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This page contains a single entry by Dan Melson published on September 28, 2017 12:00 PM.

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