Neil and Bob were working in communications locker 6. Working wasn’t exactly an accurate description since they decided to have some ‘play’ time together in the cramped space. As they tangled up and enjoyed one another they completely missed the fact that the Captain entered the space.
“Oy Vey!” Captain Calhoun announced “Doesn’t anyone wait until they are off duty anymore?”
“Captain!” both blurted out as they quickly zipped up their jumpsuits.
“Why haven’t you two put in as a coupled team yet?” The captain inquired.
“You know about us?” Neil was in disbelief.
“Son,” the captain looked knowingly “there is very little that happens on this station I don’t know about.”
“We didn’t think you would approve.” Bob said flatly.
“Why not?” The captain was curious “I approved Tina and Sally, and Ken and Vick. Look, I don’t really care about your personal relationships as long as you can work together and you are happy.”
“But sir, that isn’t allowed by regulations.” Neil was concerned.
“Strict regulations are half a solar system away.” The captain looked at both of them “What matters is that I have a crew that is working well and getting the job done. I have discovered that coupled teams, whatever the makeup, work best together and get the jobs done that I need done. I have also found that a happy crew is an effective crew. Understood?”
“Yes sir.” Both responded.
“Good. I expect your request to be a coupled team by the end of the day. I have 3 other teams that I am trying to figure out how to quarter and I think you two could help solve that puzzle.” He smiled.
“Is that what you wanted to talk to us about?” Neil was skeptical.
“No, but it was a convenient time.” He looked to the control console “I want to make sure that all transmissions other than the official military channels are shut down. We have a very delicate situation right now and we need to tightly control communications.”
“Aye sir.” Bob responded.
“Sir, somebody has an amateur radio on board. I don’t know who, but I have seen the transmissions.” Neil chimed in “Nothing critical, just normal ham stuff. But that could be a problem.”
“It could indeed.” The captain looked at Neil “Find it. Zero in on it and let my team know. We will handle it …” He paused for a moment “diplomatically. And we will let them back on as soon as we can.” He looked serious “But find that transmission. This is important!”
“Yes sir” they both responded.
Beginning of Story