Children of a Different Sky
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Title: Children of a Different Sky
Series: Short Stories
Published by: Kos Books
Release Date: November 2, 2017
Contributors: Jane Yolen, Aliette de Bodard, Seanan McGuire, Irene Radford, Gregory L. Norris, Brenda Cooper, Joyce Reynolds-Ward, Randee Dawn, Jacey Bedford, Nora Saroyan, Marie Brennan, Patricia McEwen
Children of a Different Sky: Projects of Earth is an anthology of twelve stories and two poems of power and powerlessness, of tragedy, of courage, of loss, of love, of regrets and of never looking back, of transition and transcendence. My story, "Can't Find My Way Home," is featured.
"They change their sky, not their soul, who rush across the sea." - Horace
Finding D78 means they’ll head back to camp, and it comes as a relief to Garcia after a long morning with Wainwright’s eyes crawling on him like giant insects. Shipping two officers out together is no accident; Garcia knows he’s on indefinite probation since the incident. But now that they have a creature in custody the mission has changed. When possible, they used to send ‘em home, now they drag ‘em back to camp. Once this one is processed they can grab hot lunch from the mess instead of having to hoover down another MRE or cardboard protein bar in the field.
Wainwright and Garcia are just one of twelve patrols that make up this local division of the United Nations Peacekeeper Force, an international group of soldiers stationed a few miles inland off the coast of northern France. Why France? Garcia has no clue, except that it’s close to the QZ—quarantine zone. Lately the teams have been showing up with three or four of the creatures every couple of hours. Depending on what time you return to camp with your capture you can count on about an hour turnaround to eat and rest, then it’s back out again.
It was Garcia who spotted the shimmer hanging in the air while out with Wainwright that morning—the guys like to call it an airhole, which is easier and crasser than saying what it really is: a portal between the real world and some other dimension where, apparently, actual mythical fairies live. Nobody spots airholes like Garcia does—he’s always been No. 1 in the platoon for that, which is why they only kept him desked as long as was minimally necessary.
The portals are what the creatures keep slipping through, these random shimmers that cough out completely unwelcome visitors ready to make magic. Or trouble. Or both. The portal isn’t open to humans though, far as Garcia knows—he never heard of anyone slipping through. ‘Course, the locals inside the QZ on the other side of the English Channel claim to have gone back and forth for centuries, but that’s what’s called a fairy tale and nobody believes that shit.