According to plan

He blasted out to space smiling. The mop water dispersed in a brilliant spray, caught by the sunlight over the edge of the ship. He wiped a few droplets from the visor of his suit.

Inside the ship he could see Anthony Perris standing at the airlock controls. He wished he were close enough to see his expression.

In a few minutes the shuttlecraft would come collect him. In the meantime, he let his limbs loosen, let the feeling of weightlessness expand his tired joints. And he waited to hear, over shipwide communication, of crewman Perris’s arrest.

It had been clear that Perris was on to the investigation. And there hadn’t been nearly enough evidence. So they’d waited for him to make a move, to make a mistake.

He’d patched his conversation with Perris through to the local security substation. Each word carefully recorded and source verified by the enforcement computing system. It was all exactly according to plan.

So where was that shuttlecraft?

Then a breath of static as his radio came back to life.

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