Export Duty

Export Duty has one of my all-time favorite scenes in The Department of Homeworld Security series.

I love cats, and I love writing about aliens who encounter things that we take as commonplace but that they have no idea how to react to. Enter Rin and a clowder of cats belonging to Lily’s Nana.

Rin really gets put through the ringer in this story. From sandspurs to feral cats looking for a treat, his encounters are very up-close and personal. Then again, the same can be said for his interactions with Lily—and I don’t think he’s complaining about that.

I also played around with having the Earthling see something that on one hand is very mundane, but in a different proportion… Well, it’s startling, to say the least.

At the heart of this story, like many of my favorites in the series, is a joke. A terrible, make-you-groan joke (the best kind). It all centers around gluten and another miscommunication. You’ll have to read the story to learn more 😉

Her next delivery will be out of this world!

Lily’s main priority is to steer her family’s import/export company toward altruistic pursuits. That is, until her Nana starts talking about doing yoga with a little lizard person from outer space. Lily’s new goal is to help her Nana see through her delusions. But then, the alien in question actually shows up in the green-scaled flesh, dragging along a doctor that Lily would love to have examine her.

As field medic for the Coalition soldiers stationed at the Earth base in Florida, Rin is pretty non-essential. His job is to smile and distract people while med-tech takes care of whatever issue they’re having. So why is a Vegan—the creators of that technology—coming to him for help? Though he can’t complain about being introduced to the strong and compassionate Earthling named Lily.

Throw in some desperate Antareans wanting to start a trade agreement with Earth, and an attack by dozens of fanged, furred Earth-monsters called “cats,” and Rin is going to need some of that med-tech for himself. Can he and Lily work together to solve Cyan’s mysterious ailment and give the Antareans the supplies they need to stave off a deadly plague?

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