Settlers of the Void


Premonitions

They caught him. I knew it wouldn’t take long.

A drone spotted Harris sitting cross-legged in a trench about halfway between my camp and the Hierophant. He wasn’t alone. Eight other people were with him, the missing settlers, each similarly camouflaged by the strips of moss attached to their flight suits.

Martinez sent out a patrol armed with guns to bring them in. She felt it was best to go in strong before things escalated further. It’s what Oversight’s codex said would be the best thing to do, but sometimes she forgets that Oversight was never infallible, even before the crash.

What happened out there isn’t clear. Some folks are saying that one of Harris’s disciples came at the patrol with a dagger made of obsidian rock, others say that she was only doing a bit of shouting and didn’t present any real threat, that maybe they could have talked her down. But, for sure, now another person is dead.

Harris surrendered without a struggle. He didn’t say a word the whole time. They’re still interrogating him now, trying to get to the bottom of what happened to Frank and at the same time trying to get to the bottom of what happened to him, too.

Most of the crew don’t have any doubts about who murdered Frank. They’re certain it was Harris. They want to hold a trial and they want him dead. They say it’s too big of a risk to be sharing the ship with a murderer, and there’s not enough supplies left to keep dead weight alive in a cell for forty more years.

In space we never had the death penalty. To be honest, we didn’t have many crimes, either, except for the petty kinds of things teenagers do because they’re bored and restless. But now we have a serious problem on our hands. Everyone is thinking about what kind of society we want to build on PIB-1176: what kinds of laws we’re going to have and who’s going to enforce them. What the costs will be if you screw up.

I don’t know. I think everybody just needs to slow down for a minute and think things through. There’s no evidence it was murder, not really, but everybody is so hyped up that it doesn’t matter. At least Dr. Robertson had the foresight to start an autopsy on Frank so that we’ll know a little more soon. She’s taking her time. Another day or so at most.

#

Dawn doesn’t like where this is all headed. She’s going back to her camp and I’m doing the same. Most of the agricultural division is leaving early too, about eighty of us in total, even though we were all supposed to stay onboard for another few days to get some rest.

It’s not that we’re running away from the trouble that’s starting to brew, it’s that regardless of how things turn out politically we’re still going to need food to eat when it’s all over.

I tried to get Hiroshi to come with us, but he still won’t leave his dorm. Nothing I could say would convince him otherwise.

#

My hoverjeep departs for my quadrant in another two hours. I was going to try and catch up on some sleep, but all I’m doing is staring at the ceiling. The ship’s too noisy. The corridors are too narrow and I miss the stark openness of the plains. I’m going down to the docking bay to help them load up.

Oh. I almost forgot. They’re sending one of the goats with me. It’s time for the livestock to start getting used to being outside the ship too. I’m horrible with animals, but at least I’ll have some company other than the radio.