Monday, June 17, 2013

Anjelika's Heritage: Bad Intentions

by Caitlyn Konze

Mia Meerstein rested her head against the patch-worn seat and sighed. Anjelika could not relax as easily. She had just cashed out her credit stick and bartered passage on the first shuttle off Avenir, paying no attention to its destination or condition. Her knuckles were an angry red from constant rubbing, and she kept glancing at the hatch as if Enforcers waited on the other side. A ridiculous fear since they had left Avenir’s docks twenty minutes ago.

The vibration of the shuttle grew violent for two seconds then faded back to a steady hum. Anjelika glanced down. Her hands gripped her arm rests so tight her irritated knuckles looked pale. She forced her her fingers open. Five crescents on each arm marked where her nails had dug into the seat.

With eyes closed, Mia spoke. “Relax, honey. You did better than I expected from a pampered heiress.”

The way Mia said her last two words made Anjelika’s mind race with uncertainty. Had she mentioned her social status, or was it just that obvious? Anjelika shook the worry from her head, reminding herself why she was here.  “Tell me what happened to your husband.”

Mia sat up and addressed the pilot though her eyes were on Anjelika. “Privacy please.”

A small slit lining the doorway to the cockpit grew white, blinked a few times, then buzzed as a the space blacked out. Anjelika opened her mouth, but Mia held up her index finger. The widow unbuttoned a pouch on her belt and pulled out a flat, diamond-shaped piece of metal twice the size of a thumbnail. She slid the only switch on it. A high-pitched tone screamed in Anjelika’s ears, then diminished.

Mia jerked her head toward the cockpit. “Privacy screens are light-proof and sound-proof, but there’s still the com system.”

Anjelika nodded. Once again, Mia slumped in her chair. She folded her hands over her stomach before she began.

“Almost nine Foundings ago, an investigation was ordered about a dock breach. Darl had the bad habit of being perfectly honest all the time. His report concluded the hull had to have been weakened intentionally.”

Anjelika realized her jaw was wide open. She shut it. “But that would mean. . .”

Mia nodded. “It means the explosion that almost killed your mother was no accident. Darl knew, and that’s why my husband’s dead.”

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