Writers of the Future XXV
Pure story, firing on all cylinders, hot damn! This is what I’m talking about when I talk about Rotundo powerhouse stories.
Due to his not ratting out someone, Manny has been detailed to the lowest of duties: latrine duty for a captured officer of the Walphin aliens. But he’s noticing changes: The alien is less lively, even sickly, and the waste material is getting thicker. The interrogator is trying to learn what the next attack is, and the crew has been spreading rumors: They are in quarantine and are infected by some alien virus, including Manny. To make matters worse, friends have lost family to the Walphin and would be just as happy to see it dead.
But the XO takes Manny into his confidence in order to get at the bottom of what’s going on to the alien.
An excellent treatment of what duty is and means.