“Reykjavik, this is Albatross.” Commander Venkataraman called the ship.
“Go ahead, Albatross” Lieutenant Trace responded.
“We are preparing to send your captain back to you.” She punched some buttons to send them critical information “You need to have proper medical facilities available. And you need to have them for our captain too.”
“What do you mean ‘for your captain too’?” the Lieutenant was a bit confused.
“Both of them are in medically induced comas.” The station commander quelled her emotions “And will likely need to be for the trip back to base.” She paused “You will also need to make accommodations for our captain’s wife and the admiral.”
“Will do Albatross. When will they be transferred?” Lt Trace started calling up berthing assignments.
“The captains are being loaded into the transport now, so expect them in 20 minutes. We are still hunting down the admiral but it should be within the hour.”
“You lost the admiral?” the lieutenant was confused now.
“You will understand shortly.” The commander jested.
“Lieutenant!” the navigator panicked and shouted “That other one is moving!”
“What?” the lieutenant looked at the monitor “Put it on the big screen!” he activated the radio “Commander, take a look at that thing.”
“Will do Reykjavik, Albatross out.” The commander almost lost her cool.
Sam entered the shuttle cabin from the airlock and closed the door behind her. She took off her helmet and shook her head around to free up her hair.
“Help me get out of this thing.” She announced to Tim “I need a shower!”
“Just a minute.” He fiddled with his console, plotting the path to the ship. “It sounds like somebody figured out we’re doing something out here.”
“Alright, just don’t take too long, I’m itchy!” She was grumpy as she started opening up her space suit.
“Albatross, this is shuttle 2.” Tim announced into the radio.
“Go ahead shuttle 2, and make it brief we have a situation here.” The voice was near panic.
“We are moving the second asteroid to be towed back to base by the Reykjavik.” Tim calmly stated.
“YOU’RE WHAT?” the voice was clearly in disbelief.
“The orders have been entered into the log.” Tim gave the operator a minute to get a grasp on reality. “We are moving slowly and will get configured for towing. The flight plan is linked in the log, just keep everyone calm and this will go smoothly.”
“Does the Reykjavik know about this?” the junior officer really didn’t know what to do.
“They will when you tell them.” Tim paused just to make the poor girl sweat a bit. “All of the orders are linked in the log.” He was being reassuring now “Forward the flight plan and the order, and let both crews know quickly to minimize the panic. The Admiral’s full orders are attached in the log.”
“Acknowledged.” The officer regrouped herself “We will get that forwarded and the message disseminated.”
“Very well, we will see you in 30 minutes. Shuttle 2 out.” He breathed a sigh of relief as he unlocked himself from the console and tumbled toward Sam. “Ok Sam, let’s get you out of that suit.”
“You’re going to have to help me get clean too.” She smiled at him.
“I wouldn’t have it any other way.” He grabbed her and kissed her lightly on the nose.
Beginning of Story