Contact Sport

Dakotah spun around. “Brian?!” But even as she started to move forward to embrace him, she detected the trademark graininess that bespoke a projected hologram. She converted the erstwhile lunge into a stumble, and stopped, staring at him—or at the projection of him. Just beyond the image, she saw a small, spider-like robot with a glowing lens that was obviously projecting it.

“Sorry I couldn’t make it in person,” Brian said. He looked just as she remembered him. Tall, lanky, somehow managing to make his standard-issue uniform take on the aspect of gang colors. He seemed to be leaning against the wall in his usual devil-may-care attitude. “They’ve blockaded the land routes and their air cover is too good to slip anything bigger than this projector through.”

“How can I win when I don’t even know what the game is?” Dakotah demanded.

“The stakes are big, ’kotah,” Brian said. “We think they’ve made Contact.”

Dakotah blinked. “Contact?”

Brian nodded. “With the homeland of our great-grandparents. With Earth.”

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