Tuesday, February 25, 2014

What happened to my Asteroid? Section 25:

The returning long range probe parked directly in front of bay 5 at the back of the station and signaled that it was ready for docking control.  The docking bay doors opened as the control operator slowly navigated the probe inside.  The probe was directed directly to the decontamination and re-pressurization chamber.

“Bridge, bay 5.” The operator carefully guided the probe past the obstacles in the bay.

“Bay 5, go ahead.” Came the response.

“We have the probe and are docking it in the decontamination chamber now.” She closed the docking bay doors and the door to the chamber. “Do you want it moved to a lab after pressurization?”

“Negative.  The crew will service it in the chamber and we will send it right back out when that is done.”

“Roger, we will be standing by for launch instructions.”  She switched off the intercom and looked to the operator at the station next to her “Looks like it is going to be a long, boring day in the bay.”
“At least we aren’t servicing the lavatories.” He joked.  They both got a laugh.

The green light confirming safe pressurization of the chamber came on and mere seconds later the light for the personnel door changed from green to red.

“Somebody is in a hurry.” The operator noted.

Captain Calhoun uncharacteristically burst in to the operating station “At Ease!” he announced before the operators could react.

Both of the docking bay operators spun around in their chairs completely stunned.

“Keep calm.” The Captain was trying to be reassuring “There is a situation that you need to be prepared for.” He looked at both of them. “We need to get that probe turned around as quickly as possible.  The service crew is downloading the data and refueling it right now.  I need you to get it launched and well away from the station quickly before engaging the flight plan.  We have a transport headed for bay 3 with an injured crew member that needs a clear path.  We also need that probe back on station fast.”

“How long will the service crew take before we have to launch the probe?”

“Not long, probably only 15 minutes or so.  But make sure everything is by the book.  We can’t afford to have any accidents.”

“Aye sir.” Both responded.

“Once you get the probe launched and everything buttoned up…” he grinned “You’ll have a couple of hours of private time.”


“Cargo 34 is going to get pretty busy with the shift change, so … we’ll just let you alone here.” He got serious “But get that probe launched and this bay secured, properly, safely, and quickly.”

“Aye sir.” The two operators said in unison.

“Carry on.” The captain turned and floated out of the compartment.

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