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The Ultimate Wager

The Ultimate Wager

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The Ultimate Wager

Length:
35 pages
23 minutes
Publisher:
Released:
Dec 4, 2018
ISBN:
9781386128199
Format:
Book

Description

After the human exploration ship Bascom Hall crash-landed on the Hspa Nki's homeworld, the aliens allowed the survivors to settle on a high plateau with air too thin for the aliens—but just right for humans. For decades, the two races lived apart but at peace.

When a ship from Earth blazed through the skies, the Hspa Nki journeyed up to the plateau and demanded a retroactive land tax the settlers could not pay. But the aliens took a keen interest when they saw settlers playing ultimate flying disc, and the aliens loved to gamble. They offered to cancel the tax—if the settlers could beat them at the game.

Now, Connor and a team from the settlement journey to the thick air of the planet's lowlands, into a crowded alien city, with one mission: win or go "home"—to an Earth the young team had never seen.

Publisher:
Released:
Dec 4, 2018
ISBN:
9781386128199
Format:
Book

About the author

Raymund Eich files patent applications, earned a Ph.D., won a national quiz bowl championship, writes science fiction and fantasy, and affirms Robert Heinlein's dictum that specialization is for insects.In a typical day, he may talk with university biology and science communication faculty, silicon chip designers, patent attorneys, epileptologists, and rocket scientists. Hundreds of papers cite his graduate research on the reactions of nitric oxide with heme proteins.He lives in Houston with his wife, son, and daughter.

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The Ultimate Wager - Raymund Eich

THE ULTIMATE WAGER

Raymund Eich

CV-2 Books logo

CV-2 Books ● Houston

Under low, roiling clouds, the electric bus from New Madison crept down the streets of the alien city.

Near the front of the bus, holding onto a ceiling strap, Connor Little peered through the crowd. The Hspa Nki, seven feet tall with bluish-gray skin, walked on two backward legs. Thin glide membranes, translucent and veined, joined the two triple-jointed arms on each side. A light breeze rustled the dense patterns of beads, indicators of rank and role, tied to their tail quills. Their voices struck the bus like a downpour on a metal roof. From the din, Connor’s comm implant could only extract the words vacuum breathers.

Never mind the planet’s natives. Where were the explorers from Earth?

There had to be other humans nearby. A week ago, a ship had descended past the high plateau the human colonists called New Madison, toward this alien city in their planet’s lowlands. An Exploration Consortium ship, it had to be. The descending ship must have seen the buildings, farms, and fabs of New Madison.

The crowd thickened. The bus lurched forward a few yards at a time.

No explorers from Earth showed amidst the Hspa Nki.

On an open field beyond a thinner part of the crowd, Hspa Nki threw flying discs made of some thin, pliable material regurgitated by one of the native bugs. The Hspa Nki were left-handed. Their backhand throws wobbled, but their forehand throws zipped and they plucked passes from the air.

Connor wavered on his feet. These Hspa Nki had failed to be picked for the aliens’ ultimate flying disc team.

Explorers from Earth can’t help you. You have to win this game on your own.

He rubbed his neck and shook out

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