Beyond the Darkside: 32-18 to 23


Hanse reached behind his back and grabbed the grip of the handgun he kept tucked into the back of his pants. He did his best to keep his hands from shaking, but a tremor persisted.

“Don’t do it, Hanse,” Evan said.

The safety clicked off with a flick of Hanse’s thumb.

Evan put his hands up in front of him with the palms facing Hanse. “If you’d rather I left, then point me in the right direction–”

“Out the airlock, you fuck,” Hanse said as he jerked his head in the direction of the garage’s exit.

“Sorry, but I’m not killing myself today,” Evan said. “You point me in the right direction, give me a lift, and I’ll stay far away from you and Isis.”

“That won’t be necessary,” Debra said as the door into the house opened.

“But, Debbie–”

Debra stepped into the garage and placed her hands on her hip. “But nothing, Hanse. Darkside Security, the military, and half the private security on the moon is buzzing around out there right now.” She pointed at Evan without looking away from Hanse and said, “Even if I wanted to jettison him from the home, which I don’t, explaining the dead fugitive on my doorstep is not how I’d like to spend the rest of my day. Would you?” She turned her gaze on Evan and continued. “I don’t know what kind of shit you’re pulling or why you’ve got Hanse so scared–”

“I’m not scared,” Hanse shouted.

“Bullshit. I haven’t seen you tremble so much since I took your virginity on our wedding night,” Debra said. “now, like I was saying, I don’t know what shit you’re up to…” She paused for a second before shifting her glare from Evan back to Hanse. “You asshole. You didn’t even tell me his name.”

“Sure I did, Debbie,” said Hanse. “His name is Evan.”

“No you didn’t, you jackass,” she said as she looked to Evan. “And don’t think you’re off the hook. You could have introduced yourself.”

“I’m sorry. I guess I was just relieved to be rescued,” Evan said.

“Whatever,” she said as she pointed at him. “Keep your nose clean while you’re in my house and I’ll get you back to Isis whether this big lug likes it or not.” She walked up to Evan and stood close enough that their noses almost touched. “If you ever harm my husband, I will end you. He is a horrible excuse for a human being, but he is mine and I will bring pain and misery upon anyone who takes him from me. Do you understand?”

Evan swallowed audibly. “Yes, ma’am.”

“Very good.” She turned and walked toward the house. “Hanse, get out of your clothes and get in the house. We’ll get you cleaned up before dinner.” She reached past the airlock and tossed Evan a small foil covered pouch. “Get out of the jumpsuit and throw them both in the incinerator. And don’t forget the helmets.”

“What’s this?” Evan asked as he waived the pouch overhead.

“Cleaning sheets. You smell as bad as he does, maybe worse, and I don’t intend to let that kind of stink linger in my home,” she said as she passed through the entry. “Dinner is in one hour. So be presentable by then.”

Hanse followed close behind his wife, but stopped just inside the door. He turned to face Evan and said, “She means it you know. Get cleaned up or she’ll do far worse to you than I ever could.” He glanced over his shoulder at the retreating figure of his wife. “I love her, but she scares me sometimes.” He turned his back on Evan and the door slid shut behind him.


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