This story is both one final fairy tale that a mother tells her child, of bargains made for wishes fulfilled, and a pretty classic SF story, of genetically engineered soldiers and trans-world travel. I like it when authors play with genres like this, and Scheina’s touching story does so successfully.
Content note: Childbirth.
Hannah is a midwife of whom it is told she has never yet lost a mother or child. When she’s called to Emmilene’s childbed (far too late, in her opinion), she must draw upon all of her skill and experience to ensure her streak is not broken.
I found the story weirdly glorifying of the mystical experience of childbirth; it was also uncomfortably exclusionary (falling back into the default assumption that no husband could ever have a place beside his laboring wife). Just little things, but as a result, this story didn’t really do it for me.