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He was doing rounds. Once a marine always a marine. He hadn’t looked up yet but he would soon. I had a second, maybe two, to react.

I let go of the handles and slid down the dome. I tried to aim my feet at the ground—maybe if I landed just right I could control the impact. But no. No. I’m not graceful. I got the worst of both worlds: I hit the ground hard and completely off-balance.

I landed like a sack of shit. But I landed on the other side of the alcove and didn’t break anything. Good thing sound doesn’t travel in a vacuum, because Bob surely would have heard that landing. Whatever. A clumsy, awkward success is still a success.

I hugged the wall of Aldrin and crept away from the port until I couldn’t see Bob anymore. I wasn’t sure where his “patrol route” would take him, but I knew he wouldn’t stray far from the port’s airlock. I continued until I was well clear of the port and sat down with my back against the bubble.

Then I waited. I couldn’t see the train alcove from my new position, but I could see the tracks leading away from town.

The train appeared on the horizon half an hour later. Owing to the small size of the moon, our horizon is only two and a half kilometers away, so I didn’t have long before it arrived at the station.

I waited for the train to pull into the alcove and dock with the port. Then I crept along my side of the alcove.

This was the first train of the day. Most of the passengers would be employees of the Visitor Center itself. They loaded up quickly and the train was ready for its return trip.

It emerged from the alcove. It takes a while to get something that size up to speed, so it wasn’t going very fast yet.

I leapt forward and grabbed the front wheel housing. It wasn’t the best grip, but I held on with all my might. The train dragged me along, my legs bouncing off the terrain. Okay, maybe this wasn’t the best plan I’d ever concocted, but it kept a train between me and Bob, which was all I wanted.

The train accelerated, faster and faster. I hung on for dear life. At this speed, any sharp rock could puncture my suit. I couldn’t let myself dangle for the whole trip. I had to put my legs somewhere.

I reached up and grabbed the edge of a window—I had to hope no one was sitting there. I pulled myself up and put my feet on the wheel housing. I wanted to peek through the window to see if I’d been spotted, but I resisted the urge. People might not notice a few fingers outside a window, but they’d probably notice a big EVA suit helmet.

I tried not to move. It’d be pretty spooky for people in the train if they heard noise coming from the wall from outside. Attack of the Moon Woman Who Made Bad Life Decisions.

We puttered along the lazy path toward the Visitor Center. By now you’ve probably figured out my plan. The posse was guarding all the Artemis airlocks, but had they thought to guard the one at the Visitor Center?

Even if they had, they couldn’t beat me there. This was the first train.

The trip took forty minutes, as usual. I managed to sit sort of comfortably on the wheel housing. It wasn’t too bad.

I spent the trip brooding about my predicament. Even if I could make it back inside without getting caught, I was screwed. Trond had hired me to destroy four harvesters. I only trashed three. Sanchez’s engineers would undo my sabotage to the survivor and get it back to work. Their production would be reduced, but they’d still make their oxygen quota.

Trond wouldn’t pay me for this debacle, and I wouldn’t blame him. Not only had I failed, I’d made things harder on him. Now Sanchez Aluminum knew someone was gunning for them.

“Damn…” I said as my stomach knotted up.

The train slowed as it approached the Visitor Center. I hopped off and stumbled to a stop while the train continued on to its alcove.

I bounded over to the Visitor Center and worked my way along the arc of its dome. The Eagle came into view as I rounded the hull. It almost seemed to disapprove. Tsk, tsk. My crew would never pull shit like this.

Then I saw a glorious sight: The EVA airlock was completely unguarded!

Hell yeah!

I rushed to the airlock and opened the outer door, hopped in, and closed the hatch behind me. I cranked the repress valve and heard the hiss of glorious air come at me from all directions.

Even though I was in a hurry, I waited through the air cleanse. Hey, I may be a smuggler, saboteur, and all-around asshole, but I’d never leave my EVA suit dirty.

The cleanse finished and I was clean as a whistle.

Back in town! I’d have to find somewhere in the Visitor Center to hide my EVA gear, but that wouldn’t be a problem. I’d stow it in as many tourist lockers as it took, then come back later with a big container. I’m a porter—I’d just say I was there for a pickup. It wouldn’t even look weird.

I opened the inner airlock door and stepped into salvation.

Except it wasn’t salvation. It was shit. I stepped into shit. The smile on my face quickly changed to a “freshly caught carp” expression.

Dale stood in the antechamber, his arms folded and a half smirk on his face.

Dear Jazz,

Are you all right? I’ve been worried. I haven’t heard from you in a couple of weeks.

Dear Kelvin,

Sorry, I had to shut off my Gizmo service for a while to save money. I’ve got it back on now. It’s been tough. But I’m starting to get above water.

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