Jesse Greenfinger the hugwort isn’t the only pet in my story Mascot in the Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2 anthology. There are also some goldfish (which Jesse has a regrettable tendency to snack on). Then there is the the ore-yard dog:
Something smaller and more irregular than an ore hauler was moving out there. It spidered along a cable. As Rik watched, it reached out—with what looked like a tentacle—to snare a floating piece of metal. Which it stuffed into a gaping maw of a mouth.
This species was either discovered or invented by an alien space-going civilization. Human scientists were able to recreate it. Now it lives in the ore-yard of Star Corner Station and keeps the place tidy by collecting and eating bits of debris. It also keeps saboteurs and spies out because, like Jesse, it relishes the occasional bit of live meat.
Creatures like this are one solution to a probably universal space-going problem: what to do with dead satellites, discarded second stages, and dandruff shed by spaceships in the busy vicinity of a planet. I used this same general idea in my story “Blu 97-032D” published in Analog Science Fiction and Fact magazine. In that story, NASA’s orbital debris monitors find something v-e-r-y strange going on in Earth orbit. You can read “Blu 97-032D” at http://www.alexisglynnlatner.com/old/blu.html.
About Mascot by Alexis Glynn Latner, an Aeon’s Legacy novella
A space station manager and an interstellar auditor must work through their antagonism and attraction to each other while the station comes under attack. Then the station mascot enters the fray!
Alexis Glynn Latner writes science fiction and fantasy romantic adventure, teaches creative writing, and works at the Rice University Library in Houston, Texas. For fun and the romance of flight, she is a sailplane pilot. Her website is www.alexisglynnlatner.com.
Illo: Earth’s orbital debris, illustration courtesy NASA