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Green Tea

Green Tea

5.0 1
by Richard Wadholm
A vindictive survivor of an interstellar terrorist attack confronts his nemesis over a tense, but civilized, cup of tea.


A vindictive survivor of an interstellar terrorist attack confronts his nemesis over a tense, but civilized, cup of tea.

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Oh, you are very good, Señor Seynoso. My compliments.

Not all of us were fooled. I had a friend, a very dear friend, on the Hierophant's nuclear chemistry committee. She doubted the decay chain you provided us even before we committed your load to space.

She led me along the chain of isotopes as you had outlined the order of their appearance. Perbladium 462 would indeed transmutate to morghium and protactinium, but only under very idealized circumstances.

Her calculations said your load would turn to unmarketably small amounts of junk isotopes. She was afraid you didn't know what you were doing.

She need not have worried on that score. Between you and our ship's high-speed navigator--whose services you cheaply bought--you knew precisely what you were doing.

No, don't apologize. I am congratulating you: Well played, Sir.

I was chief to the crew that packed the target material for your load. I spent ten hours with it, hauling it out to its own special quadrant of the starboard vane, injecting it into a section of lead and boron-lined target ampoules; sealing each dram over with paraffin, to control the speed of the particles bombarding your treasure.

If anyone should have known what you were doing, it should have been me, yes? I was the perfect foil. Like all cuckolds, my confidence in my own ability was paramount.

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Green Tea 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was, quite simply, the best science-fiction story that I have read since the Golden Age (yes, Mom's collection informed me.) It has good, hard science, (Bose-Einstein condensates figuring large) - love, betrayal and revenge woven in a telling short story. (I've just been reading about the Majorana particle, which would be the end-point of the science in Richard Wadholm's story.) Of all the stories in Mom's older Asimov's, this one really spoke to me. I hope it makes a lot of money for the author. He really deserves it. I give this one a *****-star rating: both for the science, and the terrific story that Richard Wadholm tells here.