When the president of the fish people is murdered on Andromeda, Captain Hunt leads an investigation. His first suspect: Tyr Anasazi.
The Andromeda is host to some VIP fish people, members of the Castalian Republic; they’re not aliens, but humans genetically-engineered to breathe underwater. Captain Hunt has hopes these people will sign the New Commonwealth charter, and makes extra sure his crew is on its best behavior.
Tyr ruins everything by interrupting dinner and accusing the Castalian president of destroying an orbital habitat full of Nietzscheans. It’s cool, though. The Castalian president will still sign the charter, as long as Tyr apologizes to him in private. We hear weapons fire; the president is dead and Tyr is found unconscious beside his body.
What commences is a “whodunnit” murder mystery. Tyr is, of course, the first suspect, but he swears that if he wanted to kill the president, he would have done a better job.
The next suspect is the president’s security advisor, Colonel Yau, whose family was killed with the Nietzscheans on the orbital habitat. Unlike Tyr, though, she doesn’t believe the president was responsible for destroying the habitat.
The third suspect is Chandos, the president’s successor, but he’s discounted because he knew the president was going to step down in a couple days. No motive.
Rommie is the fourth suspect when it’s discovered her communications port was accessed by the murderer to remotely activate Tyr’s force lance (the murder weapon). She prepares to take the blame for the crime and accept deletion, but Harper discovers what really triggered the force lance – the president’s fanfare music that played every time he entered a room.
The Andromeda crew gathers everyone together to play the fanfare music. Chandos outs himself as the murderer, revealing his knowledge of the music trigger, when he races to remove his presidential breastplate before Tyr’s force lance can fire on him.
Chandos’ motive? He learned that the president was planning to confess to destroying the orbital habitat, and that such confession would destabilize the Republic and lead to civil war.
Yau takes Chandos away, kills him for “attempting to escape,” and the Castalians sign the charter.
A typical sci-fi murder mystery. Reminded me of a couple Star Trek episodes, especially Ex Post Facto. Nothing special, but not bad, either. It actually felt soothing to watch.