"Somewhere outside this orbital spin-gravity cylinder burn a billion billion stars, but I burn brighter."
On a far future space station, once each year, nano-engineered young women run genetically engineered tyrannosaurs in a race as brutal and bloody as any witnessed in the Roman Circus 3,000 years before.
Egret thinks she is ready for this day. She has been brainwashed for it, trained for it, shaped and reshaped into a sacrificial model of beauty for the entertainment of millions. Her world is one of strict regimen and fierce competition, one in which others can only be competitors or worshippers, never friends, where lack of perfection is punished by burial beneath the red sands and the thundering feet of tyrannosaurs.
But Egret can't imagine how this day might change her. How the scream of a tyrannosaur and the cries of the other sacrifices running beside her might break open the steel surface of her world.
It is not a day you will forget.