Sam Richter is the diplomatic agent who had volunteered to see young Skypilot safely home to Canada after his ordeal in Africa, when Sky’s parents were murdered. Sam had become a friend of the family.
Now a Canadian Security Intelligence Service operative, Sam was not in Fraserdale just for the wedding of Skypilot and Helena. He had been directed to find out more about the scientist, Beatrice Westover.
CSIS routinely observes the activities of scientific leaders to ensure that national interests are not being subverted. Ms. Westover was a leading scientist at a prominent research agency; an agency that has been on the cutting edge of technological advances in quantum theory and the space-time continuum. That alone placed that agency and its leaders under the scrutiny of CSIS.
The national intelligence service had learned that Ms. Westover continues to be employed, but, curiously, works primarily from her suburban home.
As Richter’s boss in Ottawa had put it during his briefing, “We assume that the nature of the research agency is to maintain a collaborative work environment to forward knowledge in its primary areas of research; not to have leading employees working in isolation over a lengthy duration. She may be, knowingly or not, an information security threat.”
Director Hancock, the steely-eyed boss, leaned forward and slapped a report with the back of his hand, “And, to top it off, the Canadian Space Agency confirms that she is a former astronaut candidate. She turned down an opportunity to fly into space, citing ‘personal reasons’. Something stronger than mere gravity must have kept her on earth.”
He paused, then scratched his chin, “Find out what’s keeping her grounded, Sam.”
Craig retired in 2015 and has been writing ever since. And boy, is his hand tired.