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Aleksandra Hill, Kanika Agrawal, Rowan Morrison, Zhui Ning Chang, Isabella Kestermann, and Sachiko Ragosta

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Excerpt: The Bruising of Qilwa
Out from Tachyon Publications

Fiction

High Performer
Jason Pangilinan

Wayback
Leslie What

Human Trials
Madeleine Vigneron

Ace of Knives
E. A. Xiong

Mappamundi
Angelisa Fontaine-Wood

Non-Fiction
Art

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Ace of Knives

By E. A. Xiong | https://www.khoreomag.com/author/e-a-xiong/ | E. A. Xiong
Edited by Isabella Kestermann || Narrated by - || Produced by -
Knife violence, blood, death
4200 words

It rarely rains on Mars. Most of the domes are equipped with the requisite machinery, most of the caverns too, but only Estrid makes use of it on a regular basis, the populace voting every now and again to determine the coming rainfall, averaging a light shower every two to three weeks, a few hours of storm per year or so. It’s not Estrid, but it’s raining anyway when she arrives, the city cold and slick in the unhurried night. The ship is old and illegal when it crests into the larger of the two spaceports of Cartagh, its clearances as fictive as her identity. The ship is ferrying salvage, salvage vastly more illicit than a few fraudulent certificates, salvage worth millions of solars to the right buyer. Salvage of the sort that has paid for the body she has carried with her for nearly a decade now and will pay for the body waiting for her in the clinic nestled somewhere deep in the folds of this rain-wet city. But the trip was a condition of her last victory; fairly bartered, fairly won, it is hers by right and pain.

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E. A. Xiong, born in Changsha, China, now lives and writes on the land of the Darug people, in territory otherwise known as Sydney, Australia. She may be reached online @calvinoist.
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