This week Darrow gets some good news and some bad news. To read this book from the beginning, go here. My idea of Joseph Darrow is actor Michael Sheen.
Intruders Chapter 11
When Darrow returned to
the Kestrel, Commander Blackwell reported he had checked the video record from
the stores door. He was able to confirm that a figure did indeed show up under
infrared light. Darrow drew in a breath, to control his thumping heart, this
was good news, very good news. Proof at last! The Intruders he had speculated
about were now on record. At that moment a call came through from
‘Captain, there’s been a
‘Yes, I heard one of the
trapped miners died.’
‘No, sir. The stores
have been raided again, and the watchman, Pavel Patla, has been found dead.’ Holland was interrupted.
‘Oh! Yes, Mr Jones. I’m sorry sir, I’m not allowed to say any more. Mr Jones
wants to see you immediately.’
‘I’m on my
Darrow headed to Jones’s
office, his emotions conflicted. It was strange, to be glad about someone’s
death. Darrow told himself he wasn’t glad the man had died, just excited about
having real evidence. It was particularly exhilarating to know that he was on
the spot during the incident - the trail couldn’t get much hotter than it was
Outside Jones’s office,
Holland attracted his attention from around a corner.
‘Captain, I’m not
supposed to talk to you, but I wanted to warn you. Because everyone from the
base rushed to the mine when they heard the trapped men had been reached,
they’re all accounted for. Our crew are also accounted for. You are the only
one missing at the time Patla died. Jones is very angry.’
‘Thank you, Commander.’
Darrow thought fast. ‘Take an electron scan of the stores door and get a copy
of the stores video record. Get them to Commander Blackwell, he’ll know what to
For a moment, he was more
concerned about the evidence he was seeking for his own investigation, than the
current situation. Of course the evidence could help solve both enquiries.
Holland’s look of surprise brought Darrow back to the present.
‘Just get that evidence.
It may be exactly what I need.’
When Darrow knocked,
Jones hustled him inside, locked the door, and sat in front of it.
‘No more mysteries,
Captain. I want answers, and you’re not leaving until I get some.’
Darrow took a chair away
from the door and sat down. He leaned back and breathed deeply, trying to look
calm and unthreatening.
‘You know where I was Mr
Jones, I was out at the old opencast mine workings, looking into the thefts of
quartz you reported.’
‘Waste of time,’ Jones
scoffed, 'and you could have been anywhere.'
'I wasn't alone and I
wouldn’t say it was a waste of time,’ said Darrow. ‘I didn’t find anything to
help my investigation, but I did find evidence of smuggling, and a
‘Someone is smuggling
micro crystals. I’ve got some of their equipment, in case they try to clear it
out.’ He rushed on, before Jones had time to take it in. ‘That’s not the
important issue right now. What happened to Pavel Patla?’
‘He was found dead by the
open stores door, and there’s more quartz missing! How am I supposed to explain
that to the mining company?’
‘Where is the body
‘In sick bay. Dr Thomas
has finished with Elwyn and your doctor and is doing a post mortem
‘Would you mind asking
him to check the enzymes in the body? Advise if there are any he hasn’t
‘Just ask him, please,
then I’ll explain.’
Jones went to the comm
unit and called Dr Thomas.
‘Hello Wil, you must be
calling about Huw. I can patch him up, but I recommend leave. It’s going to
take a while to heal the psychological trauma.’
‘Thanks Simon, that’s
good to know. We’ll use the accident fund to send him home. Now then, I’ve got
the Kestrel’s captain here, and he has a strange request for you. When you do
the post mortem on Pavel, will you check for all enzymes? Known and
‘What do you mean,
Jones looked quizzically at Darrow.
‘Something that’s not on
record, Doctor,’ Darrow said, loud enough to carry. ‘I’ll have details sent to
you when I can get back to my ship. But trust me, the tests are
‘Very well. I’ll let you
Jones sat behind his
desk, Darrow leaned forward.
‘Do you know the funny
thing about all this? The things that looked significant, turned out to be
irrelevant, and the things that looked irrelevant, turned out to be
‘I wouldn’t call Pavel’s
death irrelevant,’ Jones bristled.
Darrow raised a hand.
‘Sorry, that’s not what I meant. We came here looking for sabotage and found an
accident. I discovered smuggling, but it’s got little to do with the theft of
the quartz. But Kozlik’s ghost, who everyone laughed at, may turn out to be
very significant indeed.’
[Next week: Darrow resolves things with Jones]
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