This week Tabitha finds out about the new mission, and calls home. To read the book from the beginning, start here. My idea of Tabitha is athlete Ellie Simmonds.
Intruders Chapter 14
scenes 2 & 3
By the time the Kestrel
was approaching T’Lon space station, Commodore Michel had found solutions to the
crew shortage, though not optimal ones, Darrow thought. Nathaniel Parks was
appointed as First Officer and Dr Matthew Ky, a doctor from the T’Lon space
station, placed as MO, but no additional crew was available. So Balitoth would
return, cutting short his recuperation period, and Tabitha would stay on. The
Commodore himself had called Tabitha's Principal at the training school. Parks
and Balitoth would rendezvous with the Kestrel at T’Lon. Despite Darrow's
objections, the Kestrel was indeed going on this mission.
Darrow briefed his senior
officers and then summoned Tabitha.
‘Stand easy, Trainee.
We've been assigned a new mission. I still need a crewman, but I don’t want a
passenger. If you’re willing to work, Commodore Michel has arranged with
Principal Hernandez for you to stay on with us.’
‘Really, sir? Oh thank
you sir!’ Tabitha started forward, and Darrow felt sure she was going to hug
him, but she recovered herself just in time and saluted instead.
* * *
The captain gave Tabitha
permission to call her parents and asked her to reassure them that she was and
would remain all right. She used the screen in her cabin, after authorisation.
There were the usual delays in connection to allow for the relays, but this time
she was lucky enough to catch her father, so the conversation went much
‘Hi Dad, how’s
‘She’s calmed down, don’t
worry.’ He smiled. ‘How are you?’
‘I’m great, I’ve been on
a mission already!’ She laughed at his look of surprise. ‘We went to help with
a mine rescue on an asteroid. We were in one quarter gravity and
‘What? I thought you were
going into space!’
‘I am, but this is a
Fast-Response ship - we’re like the emergency services. We never know what’s
‘Do you realise you’re
saying ‘we’ already?’
She drew back. ‘No, am I?
I’m still settling in really. Anyway, we’ve got a new mission now and it might
be a long one. Did Principal Hernandez call?’
‘Not just your Principal,
the Commodore’s aide called too. Seems it’s an emergency,’ he paused. ‘This is
more than you expected, Tab. Are you sure? You can get off at the space
station, and they’ll send you home. They can’t make you stay, and there’s no
shame in coming home if you don’t feel up to it.’
‘No Dad. When I heard
about the new mission, I was sure they’d send me home, and I was so
disappointed. The fact that they want me is wonderful. I’m so glad you said I
‘Didn’t think we could
say anything else really. I know it’s what you want. Well, you take care, and
keep in touch.’
‘I will. Love you. Try
to break it to Mum gently will you?’
[Next week: Tabitha arrives at T’Lon space station]
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