| "Les Mortes dArthur" |
Set in the Future
|Type of Appearance:||Direct|
|Nationality:||United Europe (born in Scotland)|
|Affiliations:||Interplanetary Broadcasting Company|
Angus Cavendish was the expert analyst for the five-kilometer ski jump on behalf of Interplanetary Broadcasting Company during the Sixty-sixth Winter Games. He had been hired, in part, because he had won a bronze medal in the event during the 2192 Games. He broadcast live from Mimas, a moon of Saturn along with the co-anchors Bill Bennett and Rannveig Aasen.
Cavendish was a small, dapper man in his early forties just beginning to grey at the temples and on his cheeks. He spoke French with a Scottish burr and it should have given him an air of impressive deliberation but did not because he was excitable and spoke too fast. Bennett had the impression of a tape recorded at eight cm/s and played back at sixteen. As a Scot, Cavendish was a citizen of United Europe.
He was introduced by Bennett at the start of the broadcast of the first day of competition for the five-kilo jump. Cavendish explained how the event differed from the 90-meter jump in Klagenfurt, Austria. He explained that while in both events the competitors would be traveling about 100 kph when they jumped, they would reached an altitude of two and a half kilometers above the end of the runway and travel over ten kilometers. They would be airborne for ten minutes and would, at the peak, see for thirty-five kilometers.
Cavendish explained that the most difficult thing was getting an opportunity for training. Rich nations such as the Arab World, Luna, Japan and Siberia could afford to send their athletes to Mimas just to train. The poorer countries could not. He attributed his own success to being an assistant engineer on a supply ship to Mimas and taking up the sport while on lay-over. He pointed out that many of the competitors were spacers just as he had been.
The first athlete was Marge Olbert of the Anzac Federation. Cavendish exclaimed that her form was excellent and she reached a launch velocity of 97.43 kph which resulted in a jump of 10,290 meters. The next jumper was Jozef Jablonski, a skier for Eastern Europe. He started his run five minutes after Olbert, when she was at the peak of her jump. Cavendish also complemented his form and he reached the velocity of 101.74 kph which resulted in a jump of 11,149 meters.
The competitors continued to jump in five minute intervals resulting in one landing while the next was in mid-flight and the third starting his or her run. Towards the end of the first day's trials, it was the turn of Shukri al-Kuwatly for the Arab World, who was the favorite. He reached the velocity of 103.81 kph and Cavendish expected him to travel a distance of 11,580 meters. This surprised Cavendish since he thought al-Kuwatly form was weak. However, while still a half a kilometer up and two minutes away from landing, a misty globe formed around al-Kuwatly's head. At first it was thought to be a suit failure but with al-Kuwatly remaining motionless, Cavendish, as an experienced spacer, realized he was dead and must have been murdered.
Almost immediately after, Dmitri Shepilov, a jumper for Moscow who was the next in line and at the top of his trajectory, when his helmet also became surrounded by mist. He too had been murdered. Louis-Philippe Guizot of United Europe was next and had just cleared the ramp by making his jump when he was murdered after Shepilov.
After the three dead men tumbled like a rag dolls to the ground in the landing zone, there was a faint radio transmission. Someone claimed to be with the Second Irgun and also claimed responsibility for the atrocity.
The next day, events were suspended pending the investigation into the murders. IBC did make a shortened broadcast outlining developments. Part of that was Cavendish's interviews with several athletes in the lounge to get their reactions to the deaths and the revelation that al-Kuwatly's space suit had been altered to give him an unfair advantage.
He first interviewed Itzhak Zalman the sole Jew on the Arab World team and who had been specifically threatened earlier by Menachem, a spokesman for the Second Irgun. Zalman indicated that he had been threatened in the past but would not let it affect his performance. He also thought al-Kuwatly was a fool for cheating and a medal won that way was valueless. Cavendish then interviewed Nikolai Yezhov of Siberia. He indicated that he did not know Shepilov since the Muscovites stuck to themselves. He also viewed al-Kuwatly's cheating with amusement, stating that the only sin was being caught.
After finishing the interviews, Cavendish passed the show back to Bennett and Aasen in the studio.
The following day, all competition was still suspended and they had little more information to add to what they had broadcast the previous day so it was a shortened session. After they had finished, Cavendish teased Bennett about his extracurricular activities the previous day. He had heard that Bennett had discovered some valuable evidence outdoors and suggested the two of them do a bit of walking about and sleuthing.
Bennett was dismayed that the rumors had started but agreed to go outside with Cavendish. After they had suited up, Cavendish suggested twenty-five laps around the Olympic Village for some exercise. After they had circled the structure a number of times, Cavendish noticed something peculiar. There was a ring of frost high up one wall of the building. Bennett suggested it had been there since the complex had been built but Cavendish was adamant that it had not been there previously and that he should know since he had done laps many times before when he had been training for competition.
Not knowing what had caused it and realizing that any serious leaks or other possible origins would have been discovered long ago, the two continued their jog. By the time they quit for the day, Cavendish had forgotten about it.