TITLE: Down into Darkness
GENRE: Science Fiction
“He’s a smart kid; it’ll be a shame to lose him.”
“He could make it, sir.”
“He’s a soldier, sir. Even if he doesn’t know it.”
“Isn’t that true. Amani, I don’t know what we need most, justification for war with the damn Mars colony, or sufficient intelligence about Jupiter’s little devils to know what the devil’s going on.”
“It’s in God’s hands now.”
Jason grinned nervously only because he was still alive. He activated the down-link to Earth, speaking into empty space. “Jason Marconi, signing on. I’ve just been turned away from the gates of the Kingdom of God. In fact, Peter told me to go to Hell, though in a few more words…” he paused at the irony, “…which, of course, is just what I intend to do.”
Jason sucked at his mug of coffee, which soothed, though he hardly needed the caffeine. Out of habit he set the mug by the console. Immediately it began to wander, drifting slowly upward through the air. Grabbing it again, he snapped it into its holder away from the control panel.
He took a breath, feeling his flippancy fade to thinly-veiled anger.
He’d failed, but the failure wasn’t his. He’d always known the overture would fail. Maja! Earth could be as bad as Mars sometimes. He’d known it would fail, but he’d tried anyway. Because of Ruth.