Second Chance (short story)

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"Second Chance"
Author Orson Scott Card
Country United States
Language English
Published in Destinies
Publisher Ace Books
Media type Print (Paperback)
Publication date 1979
Short story collection

"Second Chance" is a short story by Orson Scott Card. It appears in his short story collections Capitol and The Worthing Saga. Card first published it in the anthology Destinies (January–February 1979).

Plot summary[edit]

When Batta Heddis was a child her father lost his legs in an accident. Because her mother was not responsible enough to take care of the family Batta ended up taking care of everyone. While attending college she met a man named Abner Doon. They became very close and spent a lot of time together. After Batta graduated from college they went their separate ways. A year later Abner came to her house and asked her to go out with him. She refused because her family needed her. When Batta’s brother and sister had grown up and moved out Abner returned and asked her to marry him. While they discussed it and the possibility of them both going under the fictional drug Somec he had her memories taped. However, just as Abner was about to give her the Somec and put her into suspended animation for a few years she changed her mind and went back to take care of her parents. By the time her parents died Batta was almost insane from the hardship of taking care of them. When Abner showed up and offered to wipe her memories with Somec and play the recording he’d made of her mind years earlier she jumped at the chance. However, when she woke up Batta couldn’t escape the feeling that she had abandoned her parents and asked to have her old memories back.

Connection to the Worthing Saga[edit]

This story uses several plot elements also used in The Worthing Saga, such as the sleeping drug Somec and the taping of memories. It takes place on the planet Capitol years after the events in the story "Skipping Stones". The story of Abner Doon’s failed relationship with Batta Heddis also appears in a much shorter form as a part of chapter 5 in Card's novel The Worthing Chronicle.

See also[edit]

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