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The Baker Station Irregulars

by Eric Del Carlo

About the Author: Eric's fiction has appeared in Asimov's, Analog, Clarkesworld and other venues.


There were crimes that came with a hum about them—certain thefts, certain blackmailings, and murders. You could hear the dark intricate humming, if you listened. If you had reason to listen. Because if you heard it, then he most certainly heard it as well.

Which was why I was bouncing on my toes when Simeon Hauk got killed.

Homicides happened on Baker. This wasn’t a utopian colony; it was a serviceable, ramshackle site spinning in the black. We were home to miners, mercenaries, bureaucrats, farmers, administrators, technicians, engineers and rats like myself. When someone was murdered, it was generally seen as the consequence of two million people jostling each other in the space of a few cylindrical kilometers.

Simeon Hauk’s death, however, was exceptional. It wasn’t just particularly lurid. It was that Hauk was somebody, the great retired grav-fighter. He had traveled to Baker to help judge a local championship match. Instead, he was dead. And mutilated. The details had leaked.

People still managed to be famous, even across the settled worlds and colonies and steppingstone places in the black. Simeon Hauk had made his indelible mark on the sport. It was difficult to absorb the fact that he’d met his end in the grimy bowels of Baker, and that someone had cut off his right arm and spirited it away.

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