Kai had nearly crashed the Sidewinder into Lambs front yard. The settlement wasn’t very large and most of it consisted of administration types and local governances tasked with ensuring the local settlers stayed in line and obeyed property zoning. The farming communities were small and neighbors often relied on each other for support this far out from larger inhabited systems. Although living on such a tiny rock with little to no atmosphere and even less gravity posed a monumental amount of risk and initial income, it also reaped a lot of profit for smart enough colonists. Biomes went up first to start growing crop and then long pressurized “bags” for livestock. The bags were duly re-enforced where necessary but when complete, looked like a normal structure. The nano-fabrics were able to regulate temperature through automatically-adjusting opacity. Modular ‘habs’ are setup by the families and established for living space. Regular re-supply and re-stock was frequently handled through deliveries from the nearby orbital. Space was the largest premium and what drove most colonists out to deal with the mountain of other challenges of farming on a nearly-inhabitable moon.
Like old farms of earth, often the simplest solution was the best and farmers flourished with the proper support staff. That was the task of the Lambast family, support staff - specifically, the regional magistrate. Lambast and Kaisla had met each other in school and instantly been at odds with each other. Since the community was small, grades were mashed together into communal class rooms and only separated to study specific subjects. Lambast had loathed Kaisla almost instantly because of her buoyant and care-free attitude. Kaisla’s relentless pranks and occasional rebellious streak had also driven Lamb mad with fury. Kaisla despised Lamb’s ‘proper-ness’ and studious habits. Kai came to school with dirt under her nails and smudge on her face, Lambast came to school in nice clothes and well-scrubbed hands. Despite their minor age gap, it wasn’t long before they were terrible influences on each other. Eventually, their mutual despise led to a mutual understanding which eventually formulated into their natural friendship. Pretty soon, Kai was teaching Lambast how to infuriate (and therefore attract) the boys she was interested in and Lambast was teaching Kai how to get around the stickier points in her studies which mostly surrounded maths. Eventually, the two girls were frequent staples at the others’ house.
Lambasts father was the first to get to the Sidewinder. He recognized it almost immediately because he had helped Kai’s father fill out and file the financing paperwork. By the time Kai had lowered the hatch and stumbled out, her eyes were bloodshot and her face was puffy from crying. Tears welled up in the bottom of her REMLOK and Lambasts father embraced her in a tight hug. Noticing the charred corpse on the bay floor, Lamb’s father ushered her inside to be looked after by the girls while he removed the corpse and took the ship into the modest little docking bay that was erected to house the colony Adder.
It wasn’t long before they had pried the story out of Kaisla as she sat there sipping tea in a hot bath. Sometime later with Kaisla in the guest bed room and Lambast sleeping on the floor next to the bed, Lamb’s parents held a quiet conference in the kitchen.
“Do you think she’s telling the truth?” Lamb’s mother delicately inquires.
“Normally, I would have my doubts. But there was a corpse on the Sidewinder. It looked like it may have been Lynette, but I’m not sure. I tried calling the house line and her father’s comm link but both lines were dead. Also, I tried her friend, Astro’s, parents and there was no connection there either. Nobody has reported any unidentified ships landing near the outposts but I wouldn’t be surprised.”
“Oh god....the poor child....” Lamb’s mother breathed out.
“Yeah, I’ll call for a coroner out of Cleve tomorrow first thing and investigate Kaisla and Astro’s homesteads and see what’s happened. Sun’s down and temperature is well below pressure suit survivability so there isn’t much point going out tonight.”
The next day, Lambasts father set out at first light. The Astro homestead had been completely burned down. The Biomes burned to the ground. Kaisla’s family homestead had suffered the same fate. He had found landing pads and SRV tracks from a single ship landing a mile between both homesteads but it was long gone. The colony was simply too spread out and didn’t have the power reserves to run any kind of surveillance so there was no record of the ships arrival and departure. Shortly after, the coroner arrived from Cleve and confirmed the identification of Kaisla’s mother. The dental records matched with the biometrics from Cleve hub which held basic profiles on all the settlers on Eravate Two. After system investigators had done a thorough sweep and taken everyone’s statements and the coroner left, the Lambast family were thrown into a fit of panic when they noticed Kaisla was missing.
Lambast found her after a brief search sitting inside of the Sidewinder. Kaisla lay curled up in the jump seat, the last place she had seen her Dad, cradling the cow bobble head in her arms. Lambast crouched down, pushing a lock of silver hair out of her damp face.
“I don’t know who did this Kai but we’ll make them pay. I promise.”