Author: Marina Dudenhoefer

CROSS PATCH

Merike caught him out the usual way. Why were cheating spouses so unoriginal? She’d wondered who he was messaging non-stop on his wrist com, so she’d hacked it. She was angry, of course, that he was screwing the doc’s assistant, but that wasn’t what caused her anger to grow into a fury that froze the very depths of her soul. No, it was that a lot of their com messages were about ridiculing her.

Hannes regularly made fun of what he called her autistic traits. Her shy awkwardness that she had believed he found endearing, her near photographic memory, her attention to detail – all a source of cruel parody and scathing dismissal. He was so sure his cerebral coms wife had no idea he was playing around with Yuta. His wife who could read at barely three and had memorised her book of 500 Rhymes from Around the Universe. She still recited them in the shower. She might have several doctorates and be able to hack or repair any coms system known to man, but she had no imagination, no finesse.

DRAW THE LATCH

Merike had soon discovered that their favourite bonking ground was Escape Pod 2D-497. She’d set the stage by claiming she needed to work overnight on a coms project. She had sealed the pod – literally – the carbon dioxide was no longer evacuated but re-circulated.

SIT BY THE FIRE AND SPIN

She’d hacked into Yuta’s com system and spent weeks planting false log entries. Entries that would serve to demonstrate Yuta’s fixation on Hannes, who couldn’t leave his wife for her. After all, you don’t leave the daughter of the man running the conglomerate that owns the space station you are managing. Merike had fun with creating entries that would demonstrate an unraveling psyche and a deadly obsession to keep her lover forever. One that would lead to a murder-suicide. A muricide?

TAKE A CUP AND DRINK IT UP

As a last touch, Merike added a glitch to the ventilation system so that the build-up in carbon dioxide was tripled. The coup de grace was that all adjustments were recorded as having been made from Yuta’s com system. Then she made a large pot of Earl Grey which she sipped slowly in her favourite bone china mug. They would die well fucked – not a bad way to go really. Her observations through the escape pod systems showed that Hannes possessed a sexual creativity she would never have credited him with. She looked forward to experimenting with the technician in engineering level four who had indicated he would be “up for it” if she ever felt so inclined.

THEN LET YOUR NEIGHBOURS IN

In the morning, she would return to her quarters and be surprised that she couldn’t find Hannes. She would be worried that the system did not show his life signs and that his wrist com appeared, strangely, to be in an escape pod. A convincing picture of panic, Merike would sound the alarm.

But, till then, there was time for another pot of tea.

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