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CARTHAGO DELENDA EST

GENEVIEVE VALENTINE

Genevieve Valentines fiction has appeared in or is forthcoming in Strange Horizons, Journal of Mythic Arts, Fantasy Magazine, Farragos Wainscot, Diet Soap, Shimmer, Sybils Garage, and Escape Pod. She is a columnist for Tor.com and Fantasy Magazine. Her appetite for good costumes and bad movies is insatiable, obsessions she tracks on her blog glvalentine.livejournal.com.

Valentine says that her favorite parts of old war movies are the nights before or the moments between battles, when tension is building and character is revealed in the short silences between engagements. This story sprang from the concept of this overnight waiting presented on a galactic scale; what happens after hundreds of years of waiting for something, based on a beautiful promise?

Wren Hex-Yemenni woke early. They had to teach her everything from scratch, and there wasnt time for her to learn anything new before she hit fifty and had to be expired.

Watch it, the other techs told me when I was starting out. You dont want a Hex on your hands.

By then we were monitoring Wren Hepta-Yemenni. She fell into bed with Dorado ambassador 214, though I dont know what he did to deserve it and she didnt even seem sad when he expired. When they torched him she went over with the rest of the delegates, and they bowed or closed their eyes or pressed their tentacles to the floors of their glass cases, and afterwards they toasted him with champagne or liquid nitrogen.

Before we expired Hepta, later that year, she smiled at me. Make sure Octas not ugly, okay? Just in casefor 215.

Wren Octa-Yemenni hates him, so its not like it matters.


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