2007 Hugo Nominee!
by Bruce McAllister
The alien and the boy, who was twelve, sat in the windowless room high above the city that afternoon. The boy talked and the alien listened.
The boy was ordinary — the genes of three continents in his features, his clothes cut in the style of all boys in the vast housing project called LAX. The alien was something else, awful to behold; and though the boy knew it was rude, he did not look up as he talked.
He wanted the alien to kill a man, he said. It was that simple.