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But with the rest of the crew and the cargo of one hundred thousand colonists still frozen, Kara and her accomplice, Zed, realize they’re not the only ones awake. The murdered woman they find is only the first victim of whoever or whatever has woken from Cold Sleep.
Read an Excerpt
Blood streaks the VIP casket’s pristine white ceramic shell. Crimson handprints mark the controls and edges of the casket’s lid. Bright red spray mars the shining surface of the nearest casket and trickles down across its viewport. The deckplate’s smeared here and there, but the marks aren’t clear enough to make out any footprints.
“No one else in here,” Zed says.
While I’ve been gawping at the corpse, he’s secured the room.
There’s more to him than being a reliable bit of rough. It’s become too easy to dismiss him—the man is capable enough.
“I don’t understand. How could one of the passengers get out of storage?” I ask.
“Look at the casket,” Zed says. “Why’s it still registering an occupant?”
Being careful not to step in any blood, I get closer to her. What strikes me is the way the arcs of blood paint the VIP bay looks like something out of an anti-Ares Cult propaganda piece. The sacrifice of innocent beauty to sate the spirit of Mars. Kind of thing we’d only caught rumors of my first time shipping out. Then the newsfeeds had become more and more clogged with hysteria with every return to Earth. That and the usual.
War. War threatening everywhere.
Makes me think of my brother and hope he isn’t—wait, decades have passed—wasn’t on the frontline.
I drag my mind back from the futureshock and my eyes from the corpse. Getting lost in the past is a sure-fire way to get killed in the here and now.
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