Illusion

Manoeuvre thrusters start up to turn Talfryn’s spacecraft back. He hasn’t touched his nav controls or pre-programmed the autopilot to return to Oberon. This is a hacking job. Panic hits him.

He switches to the backup nav to reverse the course change.

No response.

That kind of override means an arrest worm. The moon’s police will be waiting to take him into custody for a murder he did not commit. Yes, the moon’s auto-surveillance system recorded somebody with all his personal traits knifing Bernice Deutsch, but he was asleep in his condo at the other side of the Othello crater and had no alibi, not even CCTV.

Left with no other choice, he checks for nearby landing sites for his life-pod. The Frankenstein moon, Miranda, is within reach if he leaves now. He’ll call his twin sister to retrieve him once he’s landed.

He dashes to strap himself into the pod, seal the door and hit the release button. The thrust pushes him into his seat to clear his spacecraft, and then he’s in free fall with only the straps restraining him.

He switches off the pod’s emergency locator beacon and other transponders to go dark. These are all the signs of an expensive way of committing suicide. Let the police think that.

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