An original short story by author Sean Houlihan. Illustrated.
An uneducated violent murderer, Mohammad "Moe" Farrokh has spent the last thirty-three years of his life a prisoner on a ship drifting through the solar system. On the verge of a scientific breakthrough that could give his meaningless life purpose, he is confronted by a young military officer who offers Farrokh a new lease on life. Will Farrokh take the offer and cast aside his dreams of redemption? Or will violence come to the suffocating depths of interplanetary space?
The reflection of the incoming ship moved across the hull. Farrokh did not look at it. He’d learned long ago, while doing a routine check near Ceres, he wasn’t cut out for spacewalking. It was better to be surrounded by the void and not have a frame of reference.
He finished the repairs as quickly as he could, and then went back inside The Rose of Devon.
Twelve hours later The Rose of Devon began to pitch slightly, buffeted by the exhaust of the other craft. When he heard the sound of the docking clamps locking into place, he made his way to the airlock.
She was already inside when he got there. She had a buzz-gun.
“Merry Christmas,” he said.
"Moe is fine.”
“Where’s the rest of the crew?”
“Dead. May I take your helmet, officer? The air is breathable.”
He motioned to help her remove the helmet and she stuck the pistol in his face.
“Your ship has a containment breach,” she said.
“Only in the sickbay and a section of the mess hall. Tanzy used a makeshift grenade; blew out a quarter of the starboard side. It’s been sealed.”
Farrokh could see her eyes shift from him to the holographic imager inside her helmet. The constant stream of data illuminated her face. “Tanzy McNamara. Sixty-three. British Colombia. Convicted of kidnapping April 21, 2094.”
“Sixty-three? No. Poor Tanzy didn’t make it much past Neptune and that was twelve years ago. Took Archie with her in the blast, and they were the last two.”
“Archibald Goodwin is dead as well?”
Farrokh turned away from her and walked down the passageway. “They’re all dead, miss. Like I said.”
About Sean Houlihan
See more books from this Author
Published July 2, 2011
Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction.