Equal Time

“So, I thought that was strange until the Centauri ambassador took me aside and said—”

“Erin, ask me how I’m doing.” The image on the other end of the telecall stopped dead.


“It’s just, look. I love that you call. I know it’s expensive from across the galaxy. But it’s great that we stay in touch. And you really do have great stories. I love telling my friends about my sister, interstellar diplomat to the Galactic Council. But you never, ever ask about me. About my latest year of med school—”

“You’re in med school?”

“See! This is exactly what I’m talking about. I’ve been in med school for three years, now, and yes, it’s great, I’m thinking about burns as a specialty.”


“But you’d never know, because when we talk, it’s all about your glorious job, and the fantastic aliens you’ve met, and on and on and on.” A moment of silence.

“I’m sorry. Look, let me just finish the sentence, okay? Then it’s all about you, okay?”


“The ambassador said that the Ursans are declaring war on us. We don’t have a chance in hell.”

Silence again.

“So,” said Erin. “What’ve you been up to?”