I will not tell where I was born – let the fact that it was a surface village of the League be enough. As a citizen of the League, I sat through the endless classes on being a good citizen. We were taught that everyone must pull their weight in the League for the common good. To Leave No Feartollán Behind. I went to Mass like everyone else. I attended the Civil Defence training sessions, even as my parents struggled to pay the levies and tithes to support the militias. I planned to become a nurse.
None of it made the slightest difference. One of Connacht Trading’s security guardsmen accused me of being a thief and a Fomorian sympathiser, and everybody I knew turned a blind eye as he removed me from my home without a trial. Just like that.
Above is the cover for my next collection, focussing on the containment efforts around the Connacht Disaster Zone and other countries’ efforts to exploit it. I haven’t settled on the release date yet, but as usual, it will be available from BuyMeACoffee (pay what you want).
Work has been sapping my will to do anything after hours due to the intense frustration of getting SNMP to just bloody work. SNMP stands for “Simple Network Management Protocol”, and it seems to be used for things like managing embedded systems or sending alerts when something goes wrong. The problem is that it’s based on top of UDP (User Datagram Protocol), which unlike TCP (Transmission Control Protocol, or what most applications like browsers or email clients are ultimately built upon), doesn’t attempt to be reliable. This means that, depending on the protocol version and what alert/notification type you send, there might not be any sign that it went wrong!
Diarmuid morosely looked up from the lukewarm sink that held two stained metal plates, and narrowed his eyes as he beheld the stocky younger boy with the fangs and green patches of skin next to the draining board. “What is it, Grady?”
“Me name’s Tomás. Nurse said you could use a hand.”
“I could. And mine’s Diarmuid. Not Red, or Red-Eyes, or freak…” he trailed off with an irritable sigh. Grady briefly exposed more of his fangs as his mouth silently worked, before he picked up a tea-towel and began to wipe the plate that lay on the draining board. For a few minutes, neither spoke as Diarmuid focussed on scrubbing the plates and tried to ignore the sidelong glances the other boy gave him. Eventually, he couldn’t take it any more.
“Go on…you want to say something, just get it out.”