TITLE: Eleventh Hour Understanding
GENRE: YA Science Fiction
Wet. Ada Mailan shifted away from the dripping woman next to her. Inspection duty - underwater farms, Ada guessed. They'd all dropped whatever they were doing to respond to the summons. Except Emma. Lena. Terri. Sheila. Selene. Where's Emma? Ada's eyes flicked toward the sound of the door; but the newcomer wasn't an heir.
Grandmother, the head of the Mailan Family government, entered the room. "We're going to be breaking some bad news," she opened. "Emma collapsed shortly after her lap session this morning. She was dead by the time doctors arrived."
Ada stopped breathing. From the dead silence, she guessed that the rest of the heirs had done the same.
"We opened a standard investigation and things look pretty straight forward. They're leaning towards heart failure." She paused, but no one had anything to say.
Perfectly healthy 19 year olds don't just die.
"Perfectly healthy 19 year olds don't just die." The words followed the thought automatically.
Five pairs of eyes locked onto Ada. One pair, Grandmother's, narrowed slightly. The old woman pursed her lips and began a step forward.
"What exactly are you implying?" The voice came from behind her.
Ada seized on the distraction and turned halfway to face the speaker, Selene. Of course it was Selene. The heir seldom let a statement go uncontested. Ada paused, aware of Grandmother's dominating presence. In that moment, she became aware of something more important.
Oh crap, it wasn't me. Someone killed her and it wasn't me.