The inspection tour ended badly. Ishikawa and Reyes were approaching the Omni-Obliterator when a rover carrying two suited figures came into view. In the silence of vacuum, they hadn’t heard it coming. It closed quickly. The FOG riders raised improvised crossbows and fired a volley, then raced silently onward, disappearing over a hill.
Reyes turned to his commander. To his horror he saw an arrow sticking out of his suit. Around it, vapor jetted out, turned to snow and fell.
Ishikawa’s ears and sinuses exploded with pain. Before he thought to hold his breath it rushed out, followed by the air in his gut in a great burp. Eyes clenched shut, he pulled the arrow out and groped for a patch. Dimly he knew that Reyes was trying to help. Well, be that as it may. This wasn’t a bad time to die. The mock defense was ready; the real attack was poised. They didn’t need him now.
His last thought: Now I’ll find out what the Synod has to do with heaven.