Poisoned Ice part 2
This is the second part of a science fiction short story. Anton is in trouble; this time, we find out why...
Anton had barely seen the unknown singleship as Emerald weaved gracefully towards the Svenskite crop. He had seeded the ring segment nearly a Titan year before with the bio-engineered photosynthesisers, and had rightly expected to see a rich harvest. As he approached the area, noting his beacons staking the limits of his farm, he had spotted the stranger with its wings extending. As anger flooded through him at the blatant theft of his crop, the thin mist of the ring core changed from white to yellow, and Emerald's song had faltered. Anton had heard of pirates poisoning space to murder a singleship, but had dismissed such stories as spacegold – pretty, but worthless.
Now, Emerald was dying. And when the ship expired, Anton would die soon after. He bit back the curses brimming on his tongue, anger and terror vying with his frustration at being so helpless. He ran his hands over the interface that allowed him to talk to Emerald, trying wordlessly to communicate to the ship his feelings, trying to tell her how sorry he was and how much he cared. The murder of his ship hurt almost as much as his own approaching demise.
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