Chapter 6. The Machinery of Love and Grace

Falconbriar—2315: Engstrumm-Bracht Search-and-Rescue Ship

“We’re going to need a few more minutes,” Shanwei snapped at the overweight woman in the ill-fitting business suit.

“We don’t have a few more minutes,” Viki Nakamura jabbed back. “We launch now and get going or we don’t do it at all.” Viki worked for Engstrumm-Bracht and was the executive in charge of the search-and-rescue team. Three weeks earlier, the Hussmann, an Engstrumm-Bracht supply ship, had docked with the New Lebanon, the corporation’s most remote space station on the near side of Jupiter, just past the main asteroid belt.

It was supposed to be a routine procedure for the Hussmann, the last drop-off before returning home. But then the

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