This image should an “anatomically correct” view of the Uranus system from the moon Mab in around 2120. Everything from the edge-on rings to three inner tiny moons (the biggest and only obvious one is Puck) should be as close to accurate as I could get it. The only “artistic license” is with the ring particles – Mab really is embedded in a ring, but I suspect the particles are probably more dust-sized that boulder-sized.
[film noir voice-over]
They say that Uranus is the butt hole of the Solar System. It's an old joke, but that doesn't make it any less true. My name is John Demetrius Stagalopulous-Vorhinikez, a name that my parents should have known was too long for the databases. My friends call me Jack Stag. So do my enemies, and I've made plenty of them.
I'm Chief Inspector of the Commonwealth Extraplanetary Police for Uranus. That sounds pretty impressive, but three robots dumber than Chihuahuas are my entire staff. There are less than fifty people on all the moons and rings of Uranus, so it's not that big a deal. I'm the only cop for a billion klicks in any direction. There's just one bar on Oberon, and I spend more time there than in my cubbyhole office. Not much happens out here. It's exile for pissing off the wrong dirt-bag politicians.
So when word came down of a murder at Mab Station, I sobered myself up and got a hold of Ensign Kumar. That CSF kid must have really pissed someone off to get stuck on this dung pit. We popped on over to Mab in an old shuttle that reeked of sweat and burnt plastic.
Mab Station is wholly owned – leased in perpetuity, anyway – by the Uranus Sky Mining Corporation. They've fallen on hard times since the new CNO-spiked protium reactors knocked the floor out of the helium 3 market. It was a wonder they were still in business.
Bad news was one of them was dead. From the looks of the video packet, someone had beaten him to death with a blunt instrument. Good news was there were six people on the whole Station – five still breathing now – so it shouldn't have taken long to narrow it down. It ought to have been an easy break from that stool at the bar, the one with my ass cheeks tattooed into it. Or so I thought.
[Once if figured out the actual events, I did write this up as a short story]
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by Geir Lanesskog, All Rights Reserved