Dr. Menzies marveled through the aperture at the spectacle falling from the constellations. He thought this rare celestial event could boost attendance at the struggling observatory. The lookout station had a picturesque view of an ocean inlet. The professor watched the shooting star fizzle to a sandbar exposed only during low tide knowing that he didn't have much time before the tidewater would flow back in.
The optimistic stargazer thanked Janaki for the pizza delivery and paid her on the way out the door. But then the astronomer discovered his sabotaged vehicle with an expressionless stare. A flurry of sparks flashed from under the upright hood, engine components were strewn on the ground, all the tires flat, broken satellite dishes dangled by cables, even the open-air dune buggy hitched to the back had been wrecked. Then Dr. Menzies and Janaki heard the surveillance van pull free from Ora and glimpsed the shadowy vandal hop in as it sped away.