Friday, January 13, 2012


by Edward M. Erdelac -

Considine settled in front of the console and keyed in the call to Chief Inspector Gorsh on the Peace Council.

After a moment the screen flickered and the ‘Connecting’ icon appeared.

Considine stared at his reflection in the dark screen. Broad, meaty old face, sharp, squinty blue eyes, graying hair. The bronze badge pinned to the lapel of his drab topcoat.

Then his own visage was replaced by the head and shoulders of another man, scrawny, balding, wearing a dress uniform.

“Stanlon,” Gorsh acknowledged, then went back to sifting through something on his desk just out of frame. “Been waiting for your report. What’s the word on the incident in the habitation ring?”

“We extracted Croix without any casualties aside from his cabin seal. I understand the engineers are already reattaching it to the outer seal. Croix’s in custody, but I can’t get a thing out of him. He’s a lunatic apparently.”


“I’m letting the psychs have him once the doctor’s finished sewing him up.”

“No that won’t be necessary. Peace Council wants him in relation to another matter. What about the pilot…what’s her name?”

Considine raised his eyebrows, but continued.

“Arden Pacoy. She’s just a hauler trying to make a little dosh on the side. Had no idea what she was carrying. Didn’t even know her contact’s name on Avenir. But she did say the perp wore a Morgenstar company cap. I’ve got her sifting through personnel pix, looking for a match.”

“So you make it to be an inside job?”

“Like we expected.”

“Alright. Good show as always, Stanlon. Forward me your findings and we’ll take over up here. Oh and, you can prepare Croix for extradition in about two hours. I’ll scramble a shuttle.”


Considine watched the image of his old partner wink out. Gorsh had done well for himself. They’d all thought him mad to request duty on Zirconia, but there’d been too much politics on Avenir mucking about. Still were, apparently. Why did they want to extradite a nobody like Croix? His records showed he’d never set foot on Avenir, and he was further removed from the higher ups in the bomb plot than even his clueless courier, Arden Pacoy.

Arden. Time to check on her. He rose from the telecam and exited the booth to see Jelly standing there.

“Doctor wants a word, Inspector,” he said.

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