"Rajamurtha drive" aka "r-drive" is a spaceship engine that can move vessels faster than light - making interstellar travel possible for humans.
Only it sometimes does something to matter surrounding it - including the vessel itself & the human tissue. This something makes the affected matter extremely dangerous to normal matter - means all matter infected, including infected humans, needs to be dumped to some secret sterile world where no normal human will ever go.
Story is about the fate of Manny - a veteran of many voyages who has now caught this matter sickness. He is now isolated & banished from humanity forever - to die on this secret world.
I found the plot utterly flimsy, & narrative rather casual.
Fact sheet.First published: "Subterranean" magazine, Fall 2007.
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Note: Why is this post so short?