Tobias S. Buckell is a Caribbean-born SF/F author and NYT best seller who now lives in Ohio. He is the author of Crystal Rain, Ragamuffin, Sly Mongoose, Halo: The Cole Protocol and over forty short stories in various magazines and anthologies. Pepper, from the story here, is a recurring character from Crystal Rain, Ragamuffin, Sly Mongoose, and several of his short stories. His next novel, Arctic Rising, is due out sometime soon from Tor, and he’s working on his next book. Find him at www.TobiasBuckell.com.