by John Peace
Mars Transfer Orbit
But then he realised just where Abdul Qawi had chosen to build his stowaway's nest. "Abdu!" he croaked, a hoarse whisper, "Where are the UV spectrometers and the imagers? And the - Half the science gear is missing!"
His supposed friend's eyes focussed on him. You could tell when his razor-sharp mind was operating when he got that look. Maybe less of a friend. Perhaps more like a saboteur. And his pronunciation was crystal-clear. "Ah, yes. Professor, I am so sorry. Please submit your lost baggage claim to the administration and we will make suitable arrangements. Thank you for choosing Emirates and have a nice flight." Then he grinned, not a hopeful or entreating grin, but a victor's self-congratulation.
Maybe it wouldn't be such a holiday after all.