Chapter 11

(copyright 2017. all rights reserved)

chapter 10

Eladio asked Sam to look at the scrubber profile for Hydro. He expected there would be a CO2 spike from just before Granger “nodded off” in the video until around the time gap Tina had identified. He also asked Sam to check the hatch to Hydro for evidence of tampering. Leaving that hatch open would clear the room of CO2 reasonably quickly, but was against regulations. The logs should show when that occurred. It might also explain why Eladio had found the hatch open when he visited Hydro yesterday.

Eladio tasked Tina with finding out how Granger’s body ended up outside, as well as locating Elana Sokolov. He assigned himself the task of identifying what Granger was working on that might be important to Earthside. He left his office for Hydro when Tina and Sam had departed to pursue their efforts.

Four people were in the Hydroponics lab when Eladio arrived. Jeppesen was on one side of the room, working alone, Cindy and Han Liu Xiang were working together at one of the planting bays, and Deke Baker was at the workstation nearest the door.

“Mr. Baker?”

“Director,” Baker said cooly.

“Do you happen to know what Mr. Granger was working on?”

“When did you know? When you were in here yesterday?” Baker fired back.

“Yes, I knew when we spoke, but did not have sufficient detail and did not want to stir things up needlessly. I am sorry if that bothers you, but my concern is for the efficient running of the facility. Were you close?”

“Yeah. I liked Bob. He could be impatient, and sometimes a little arrogant, but he was a good boss. It sucked finding out in a meeting.”

“Again, my apologies. I merely did what I thought best for all concerned. Do you have any ideas about his projects?”

“Not really. He kept to himself pretty much. Especially lately.”

“I see. Well, thank you for your time.”

Baker nodded, and said, “Try L.S.,” as he turned back to his work.

Eladio approached Cindy and L.S. at the planting bay. They were animated and smiling. Cindy noticed his approach and turned toward the plants, blushing. Eladio shook his head. What is that about?

“Hey, boss! Granger, huh? Big shocker, I think so. Is it really murder?”

Exuberant as ever, Mr. Han. “It seems ever more likely,” said Eladio.

“Wow. Any suspects? I not think one of us kill him. Just snapped or something?”

“I am looking into it. But I had a question for you. Both of you, actually,” Eladio said pointedly to Cindy’s back. She slowly turned.

“Do either of you know what Mr. Granger was working on?”

“No, boss, sure don’t,” replied Han Xiang. Cindy shook her head, but was blushing more deeply now.

“Who else might I ask?”

“You could try Jeppesen, but I doubt he know. He and Granger not talk much. Don’t like each other very much, I don’t think so. But I bet Lanie know.”

“Elana Sokolov?”

“Yeah. You know they an item, right?” Han said, wiggling his eyebrows.

“Yes, I was aware. Thank you.”

“Sure, boss. Happy to help.”

Eladio had been hoping to avoid speaking to Jeppesen. Ah, well. Unavoidable. “Mr. Jeppesen, may I interrupt?”

Jeppesen turned and stood, looking down at Eladio and leaning forward slightly, intruding on Eladio’s space. “Yes. Have you decided who will replace Granger as lab director?”

Eladio ignored the attempt at intimidation. It will not be you. “No, I have not. Do you—”

“You should decide soon. We need to keep things running smoothly.”

Eladio was annoyed by the interruption and the attempt at intimidation, as well as being told how to do his job. “I will take that under advisement. Do you know on what Mr. Granger was working?”

“No,” said Jeppesen. He turned and sat at his workstation.

Pointless. “Thank you for your time, Mr. Jeppesen.”

Jeppesen didn’t respond. Eladio exited the lab, fuming. A very difficult man to like.

chapter 12