Mentee Name: Sarena Ulibarri
Title: THE EDGE OF THE UNIVERSE
Genre: Science Fiction
Word Count: 72,000
Olivia and Bob only had 3D-printed pancakes in common, but an impulsive theft will take them to the Edge of the Universe and back.
The Octos had left slime trails on the restaurant floor again. Olivia glared at the creatures, wiping the sole of her shoe with the rag she kept tucked in her apron. Four of them had taken over the Intergalactic Truck Stop’s largest booth, their tentacles draped over the seats so that adjacent booths could not be occupied unless customers wanted to be slapped and slimed. Olivia stuffed the rag back into her apron and pulled a mop out of the supply closet, ignoring the chime from the kitchen that meant the food for one of her tables was printed.
The Intergalactic Truck Stop was always filled with a mixed parade of Sapient creatures, but most of them excreted manageable amounts of bodily fluids, and also had the decency to keep their arms, fins, claws or tentacles within the confines of their own booth.
Not the Octos.
The Truck Stop’s owner, Andrus, had escorted them in as though they were royalty, and had told Olivia and the other servers that whatever they wanted was on the house. Their language wasn’t cataloged in the database of Olivia’s smartwatch, and Andrus had offered no tutorial, though he seemed fluent in their guttural speech. They’d been hanging around for her last three shifts. So far, she’d avoided dealing with them directly. If she could help it, it was going to stay that way.
Olivia poured the super-strength cleaning fluid onto the widest slime trail and pulled the mop through it. The table of Grays closest to it dropped their forks and pressed hands against their tiny noses.
“I know,” she said. “But do you really want to slip in it?”