I was sitting in the waiting room outside cryo waiting on Ash! Good Lord but I had better things to do but, I needed the smartass fighter jock!
Ash staggered out through the double doors looking pretty much worse for the wear! “Maybe I should throw you back and get a real Jet Jockey,” I laughed.
He just groaned and grunted, ”Hell, I’m surprised you guys woke me up! Guess I’m still branded as the traitor, right?”
I came out of my pocket with his XD and handed it to him butt first, “Nope, the stay awake crew found the real one. Dr. Van Vogt was as dirty as sin. Hell, he tried to sneak Fleet Commandos in as part of the plan. Did you know about that part?”
He looked puzzled, “No, how the crap did he do that?’
“Apparently the second ship tried to slip them in as cargo in Cryo sneak chambers,” I said.
“Gutsy but, a little dumb. That’s why you said you would never use them wasn’t it?”
“Spot on Cuz, it’s a stupid play! Now down to business, you have some people on this tub who really don’t trust you yet! Good news, those same people are ready and willing to work with you. They have your open files and need your skills the same way I do. Hell, Mariana even needs you for some research.”
He grinned, “Oh Lord, I bet it hurt her to say that! What does she need anyway?”
“She needs DNA data basing on a population with cross-reference and real time disease projection!” It was my turn to grin as a face went white.
“Good Lord, any other miracles before breakfast?” He moaned
“Yeah, I need a cross reference of 150 Ice Cubes full of Astrophysics data and the Capt. needs a back trace of UNWG ship development that has a chance of coming after us.”
Ash slumped against the wall of the corridor, “And what do I have to pull off three Manhattan Projects with?”
I grinned, “On that cuz you may be very pleasantly surprised, come on I will show you!”
We started down the corridor towards our temporary Data Center when I spotted the Three Musketeers, “Heads up Ash, the Lab Rats approach.”
He was still staring with his patented dumfounded look when Mariana spoke up,
“Here are our first two ‘volunteers’. Open up for a swab sweetheart and Ash open that jaw or I’ll break it open!”
She then proceeded to do a swab of each of our mouths and snapped the swabs away in sterile containment tubes.
I asked bemused, “Starting DNA samples already?”
She just gave me that intentionally dimpled smile, “Drug sweep is finished, no time like the present. Five down and how many stubborn one’s to go. Your guess is as good as mine!”
I just grinned back, “Good luck, cause you are gonna need it! Come on Ash; let me show you your pit!”
We entered the Data Center and he saw the old Plasma display and flex control station I had scrounged up and said, “Well I/O and control looks good. What’s under the hood that’s what counts?”
I was well and truly grinning when I showed him unit 1, “How about four of these in an end link Cuz?”
He was for once speechless for about a minute, “And how did you manage to get 4 of the five of these brutes ever built?”
“Wrong again cuz, the fifth one is running Mariana’s lab. I designed them dumbass, these were the price for the three patents that came from them. That and the fact that there would be no more built. Bet, that went out the door five minuets after we left!”
The look was one that I was waiting for, that high priced brain went in to overdrive as he took control of the system and the look went somewhere into a different space, “Oh yeah cuz, give me some time here but this is doable.”
I just turned softly and left for Hanna’s place. I had my leash and in spades!