“We’re gonna’ do WHAT?” Commander Dunst shouted into the radio.
“The orders and plans are clear and there is no real danger.” Commander Venkataraman tried to reassure Commander Dunst.
“What do you mean ‘no real danger’?” He demanded.
“Nothing happened until we started fiddling with the first one.” She insisted.
“So we are going to drag this one back home?” He really couldn’t believe what he was being told.
“It is all in the detailed orders I just sent you, but basically you hook up the cables to the ships and guide it back. The experts will take it from there.” Her tone was almost condescending.
“Alright, we’ll get rigged up for it.” The commander got back to a professional attitude. “Who is going to connect things up?”
“Our crew will take care of it.” Commander Venkataraman checked the progress “They’ll be hooking things up in about 15 minutes.”
“Alright, we’ll be ready.” He was a bit uneasy but figured they would handle the connection “What about the trip back? Do we have enough data and instructions?”
“The rigging crew is going back with you, and so are our experts on the subject so you will be well staffed in case of problems.”
“Is that the same team that launched the first one through the station?” He sounded a bit sarcastic.
“The very ones.” She tried to play with the other commander “At least they know what not to do.”
“Well then at least we have that going for us.” He wasn’t very confident. “We’ll contact back when the ships are rigged.”
“Acknowledged Reykjavik. Albatross out.”
Sam was back outside, standing at the very aft end of the shuttle watching the approach to the Reykjavik. She wasn’t even completely dry but was thankful for the shower and being able to clean her space suit. After 6 hours the suits get pretty rank and she was going to have to spend several more hours in her suit to get the cargo hooked up for transport back to base.
“Alright Tim, that looks about right.” She was checking the distances and the orientation between the ships. “Bring the probe up close to the back of the Reykjavik so I don’t have to haul the cables too far.”
“Will do.” He started maneuvering the probe “I’m going to drift the shuttle a little closer to close the distance you have to travel.”
“I appreciate it.” She raised the camera and focused on the probe “Don’t get too close. If you crash it that will make things difficult.”
“I won’t crash it.” He was slightly annoyed “I want you back inside as quickly as possible.”
“Don’t forget you need to top off the fuel tanks.”
“Oh yeah, I had almost forgotten” He quickly checked the cable orientations and the location of fueling connections on the ship. He had to plot carefully to avoid tangling the tow cables and shredding Sam.
“I’ll get that done while you are hooking up the tow lines.”
“I thought you might need the reminder.” She smiled to herself as she launched off the shuttle toward the probe. “Let’s get this done and get underway.”
The shuttle passed the asteroid and the two waved at each other as they set about their tasks.
“I’ll see you on the Albatross.” Tim blew a kiss to Sam through the observation port.
“That’s right, we have to stop there next.” She blew a kiss back.