Matt was underneath the front of the newly assembled atmospheric shuttle when Alison approached him. When Matt saw her and how good she looked in her uniform he banged his head on the under-chassis.
Alison laughed out loud. “I didn’t mean to startle you.”
“You must be wondering why I called you here, Mundy?”
 “Alison, can you fly this thing.” Matt slapped the hull.
“This old relic?”
“Old relic? This is a ATMOSR-DC12 CONDOR.”
“Well she is a real classic.”
“Yes, she’s a classic all right.” Matt looked at her blank expression, “You’ve never heard of them, have you?”
“I flew one back on Tau Ceti. Her design is high throttle. Not an easy ship to fly but hard as hell to bring down.” Alison smiled. “I meant are her parts in working condition?” Impressed Matt knew he had picked the right, “Yeah I can fly her. I’ll need a co-pilot though.”
“Tatiana volunteered.”
“She did? Now that’s a surprise.”
“She said you would say that.”
“After Heavens Peak.”
“Maria says you’re her best pilot.”
“Maria said that?”
“How come everything seems a surprise to you?”
“I guess because it is.”
“She also said you’re immature, and a brat.”
“Now that sounds more like Maria.”
“Alison, this is completely voluntary.”
Alison was thrilled. “When do you need me?”
“First thing in the morning.”
“And what about tonight?”
Matt straightened his overalls and put on his jacket, “Maybe when this is all over we’ll take time to talk about other things.” He left.
Alison almost went after him, Maria chimed in. “He’s old enough to be your father.”
“You’ve been ease dropping the whole time?”
“That’s my job. You think I trust you alone with a guy.”
“I know Maria, but can’t I have feelings for him?”
“No not on my watch.” Maria drove her chair over to Alison and grabbed her by her arm. “I have faith in you. I expect you to do your job and do it well. But you need to stay focused,” Maria sighed. “I don’t want to lose any of you.”
“Why Maria I didn’t know you cared.”
“What did you call me? That’s Colonel Miranda to you.”
Sadia sporting a short hair style met matt in the corridor. “Can I help you Sadia?” He said keeping things formal.
“Matt, we need to talk and shit.”
“Right now?”
“I said we need to talk and shit.”
“I’m busy,”
“You need to shut up and listen to me and shit.”
Matt got real uncomfortable. “Hold it right there,”
“I know all about regulations and shit.”
“Do you know why we have regulations?”
“To keep two people like us from falling in love and shit.”
“That’s right, that’s all they’re good for and shit.”
“Listen Sadia, we can’t talk about this now,”
“I told you Matt I don’t want to hear that,”
“WE ARE GOING TO DIE!” Matt yelled in a burst of anger.
“Don’t you think I know that?” She turned to leave.
“Hold on a second, what’s with this AND SHIT and shit?”
“Giuseppe says you always say AND SHIT when your angry. I kind of like it, and shit.”
Matt was silent as he sat on the edge of the table. MY GOD, WE’VE CREATED A MONSTER

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