A Thorn in Saturn's Side
Antonio spoke. “Those old tourist stations were powered with fusion engines. Our initial views from the ‘scopes identified it as an old DoubleTree. They had a contract with Pratt & Whitney to build the engines. Those things’ll last forever. There’s smaller versions in most of our older official ships.”
“Forgive me for asking the obvious, but why has this thing suddenly woken up?” Erich asked.
“Like I said, powered by fusion. Thing was probably still in standby mode, and a cosmic ray flipped a bit somewhere in the coding. Sparked it right up.”
“You don’t think…” Erich began.
“Impossible,” Antonio responded.
“If you were going to suggest,” Barnes interrupted, “that perhaps the Jovian Bioids had planted some sort of sleeper cell in the rings…” The PM leaned back and sighed. “There’s no stealth in space, but could something hide in the rings like that?”
“A Biot modified for extended cryo,” Antonio said at length, “could do so.”
“Should we take a gander?” Erich inquired.
“We’ve no choice,” Barnes answered.