Gingezel 4: Hacker
You grasp at straws when they are all you have to grasp at. That is what Dr. Dreen Pendi, former head of Nemizcan Computing, thinks he’s doing wondering if the reactor overpower on the remote mining planet Drezvir could have been caused by a hack to the control and safety system. But Leeth Kembel, one of the few hackers good enough to have done it is on Drezvir with plenty of motive - a bitter hatred of Dreen for his sending Leeth to prison for hacking when he was a young man. That hatred might have been enough to agree to help his boss, terraformer C.C. Windegren, sabotage the reactor to prevent import of biohazard waste to the planet.
Suspicion is not proof and Dreen cannot bring himself to go to authorities without that proof. It turns into a hacker vs hacker game as the expert team of industrial risk analysts eliminate all but design flaws or quantum computer effects as the cause. Time is running out. Either Dreen or his lover Mitra, Dr. Mitra Kael designer of the reactor and the chief project engineer, will be charged with manslaughter and face the death penalty unless evidence of the hack can be found.
At times like this you need help from your friends. Dreen’s hackers Brys and Vennbir are doing what they can, but they need inspiration. Unexpected ‘help’ from Ghen Kulgalu, the galaxy’s drug lord, has Ceb Windegren, one of the most senior members of the Interplanetary Judiciary, en route to Drezvir. He is risking an inter-sector diplomatic incident, but he needs to know if the accident was caused by that son of his, or if there is something even more sinister going on.
Science fiction by the Canadian husband and wife scientist author team Donald S. Hall, PhD., and Judi Suni Hall, PhD.