Gardens Of The Sun, Third Chapter
Some fifty days after he’d defected, the spy at last returned to Paris, Dione.
It had not been an easy journey. He’d fallen from orbit in a stolen dropshell, skimming through a hole in the Brazilian surveillance-satellite network, landing inside a small impact crater in the high northern latitudes of Dione’s sub-saturnian hemisphere, walking away across a frozen, gently undulating plain. He was short of air and power and had to reach a shelter or an oasis as quickly as possible, knew that his former masters would be searching for him and that he faced disgrace and execution if he was captured, yet in those first hours of freedom his heart floated on a flood of joy. All around, beyond the shell of his pressure suit, with its intimate chorus of clicks and whirrs, the tide of his breathing and the thud of his pulse, the moonscape stretched silent and still, lovely in its emptiness. The dusty ground glimmering golden-brown in the long light of the low sun. Saturn’s swollen globe looming half-full above the curved horizon, bisected by the black scratch of the ringplane, which printed crisp shadows across smoggy bands of butterscotch and peach and caught fire with diamond light as it shot beyond the gas giant’s limb towards the tiny half-disc of one of the inner moons. He felt as if he was the emperor of all he surveyed. The only witness to this pure, uncanny beauty. And for the first time in his brief and strange life, master of his fate.
READ MORE . . .