Proof of Life, Part 6

13 Aug

November, 23, 2121

Captain Tsuvecki sat strapped into her harness chair with her VR helmet on her head and the control sphere in her hands. “Phobos Control: I’m ready for departure.”

“Acknowledged Motherlode. You are scheduled for clearance in 17 minutes. Final debt checks coming in now.”

“Thank you, Phobos Control.”

Twenty-six minutes later: “Motherlode, this is Phobos Control. Your credit is clean; you are cleared to depart. The next open orbital slot occurs in 33 minutes. Does that work for you?”

“Yes, thank you, Phobos Control.”

“Sending the autopilot program to you now. Do not disengage the autopilot. It turns off automatically as soon as you are outside the 50-mile zone.”

“I understand and will comply,” Hidaya replied. She tongued off the com channel and waited. Something much more substantial than butterflies ran amok in her stomach as she waited for the autopilot to engage. She did not remove the VR helmet, but she did release the control sphere and stretched out the kinks which tension had knotted into her shoulders. She couldn’t wait to get away!

As she waited, she logged onto MarsNet and checked the latest news feeds and the share prices for Planetary Resources. She had just started some deep breathing exercises when the autopilot engaged and Motherlode at last left Phobos’ orbit.

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