the smuggler’s bible

Hamlet

“Status.”

“Everything’s quiet,” Horatio says. “No activity at the mine.”

“Did they pick her up?”

The A.I. waits a beat, checking police logs. “Ophelia’s body has been collected. They’ve filed it as a suicide.”

Hamlet lets out a breath he didn’t realize he was holding. “That’s nonsense. What’s their justification?”

“Classified.”

Silence, for a moment. “Jesus,” Hamlet says finally. “That means the—”

A red bulb flares to life in the quiet darkness, burning hot and angry.

“What the hell is that?”

“Intruders, sir.”

“Shit. Which barrier?”

No pause this time, Horatio is running fast and lean. “They’re through everything.”

Hamlet

The crust reflects starlight, except where it’s scuffed. Hamlet follows the freshest scars under the white glare of the mine until he finds a hole in the ice—and something else.

The water is turning to slush around the body, threatening to freeze over for good. He gets a clip on the corpse’s belt and steps back just as Horatio pings his radio from orbit.

“Horizon in fifteen minutes, sir. Theater wants to confirm your reservation.”

“Don’t bother,” Hamlet says. He drags a glove across his suit visor and braces up hard with both hands on the tow-line. “Ophelia’s dead.”