Friday, August 31, 2018

Weather Girl, by E.J. Swift

Solaris, September 2017 (in Infinity Wars: Infinity Project #6)

Lia has a high-stress, classified job, where they call her "the weather girl."

She's not forecasting storms. She's deciding what to do with the information about them--make it public, conceal it for a bit, or conceal it for as long as possible. There are hackers to ensure that if she decides it should be kept secret, other countries' satellites and systems don't pick up the information, and don't figure out that their systems are being hacked.

In a world where reduced carbon emissions came too late to stop global warming, control of weather information is a weapon. It's national security.

It's making sure your enemies get hit without warning, and that you don't.

Lia isn't comfortable with her job, and yet she enjoys the work. And yet, she doesn't sleep well.

She used to be married. Nicolas was a banker. When they were married, he was there when she woke up, distressed, but with no dreams she remembered. She never told him what she did; just vague indications that it's really nasty.

Three years ago, he left. He quit his job in banking. He travels, now, and sends her one picture from each place he goes.

No words. Just the picture. She doesn't reply. She does always open them, and then have her home system archive them.

And then one day, there's a storm with a target they're going to allow to be hit, with as little warning as possible. The picture Nicolas sends that day is from that location.

This is a low-key yet powerful story, extremely well done.

Recommended.

I bought the anthology this story is in.