Narrated by M.K. Hobson.

Hilaj fears victory today, Nehan knows, as much as she fears defeat. The Buskruten terms would leave the Watuk a corner of their nation, a fragment of their former glory. Copper, tin, and silver mines would fall within the borders the Buskruten viceroys had drawn for themselves. With a stroke of a pen, Nehan might guarantee today that no more lives would be lost. With the same swift strike of ink, a proud people of traders would become beggars.

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Read “A Song for the Leadwood Tree” by Aimee Ogden, in Issue #285

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Aimee Ogden is a former science teacher and software tester; now she writes about sad astronauts, angry princesses, and dead gods. Her work has also appeared in Analog, Shimmer, Fireside, and previously in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and she co-edits Translunar Travelers Lounge, a new zine of fun and optimistic speculative fiction.

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