The suns were setting, and the inspector from headquarters arrived on the dot at the time he’d stated in the letter.
“Greetings, Sir, we hope your journey here was pleasant.”
“It was, thank you.”
“Would you like a glass of water?”
“Oh not now, I just had one at the previous hab. But I would certainly appreciate it before I take my leave later.”
“My good man, how many people occupy this hab?”
“Three, myself included. My wife and daughter died. Would you like to see them?”
“This way, Sir.”
The two men took the elevator down to the sub-level, and the doors opened to reveal a round room with soft lighting. In the middle was a tank, and in the tank was a bed. On the bed lay the bodies of the man’s wife and daughter. The two of them approached.
“What was the approximate time between onset and death?”
“Two days, Sir.”
“And in that time did you experience any symptoms yourself, hallucinations included?”
“No, Sir. I was perfectly fine.”
Just then the wife stirred, as if meaning to wake up, then she went still again, as though asleep.
“She does that sometimes. But she is dead. No pulse, no breathing, nothing.”
“You have not gone to Abe’s hab, have you, Sir?”
“That will be tomorrow.”
“His dead parents sometimes walk around the room at night. You can ask him for footage, he does not hide this fact.”
“I have taken note of that. Thank you, my good man. I will now have to take some basic readings around your hab, then I’d like that glass of water and I’ll have to be on my way after.”