little real power, and nothing whatsoever to do with the Argo. After much screaming from the UN, and as much begging and crying from the Federation, the Foundation named him as part of the crew to go to Epsilon.
The rest of the survey team where all space born: Ryoko Suzuki was a linguist at Luna U, and had been assigned as Carter's assistant. Doctor Leo Lovelock was a medical doctor and would also act as the team biologist, and Doctor Joshua Johnson was an astronomer and would be in charge of the system survey, with Tanaka assisting when it did not interfere with her other shipboard duties.
Tanaka and Rios appeared at the table, and Watez waved them into the seats opposite her. After a few more minutes of reading she gave her attention to her two shipmates. Watez saw that Rios had a beer like most spacers, but Tanaka had one of those drinks with an umbrella in it.
“Oka, when are you going to drink like a real spacer and stop with that girlygirl stuff?” asked Watez, jokingly.
“When you stop wearing those shapeless jump suits and wear something that shows off your figure,” leered Tanaka.
“OK, go to your neutral corners: that round is a draw,” said Rios as she chopped her hand down between the two like a referee. All three women laughed and visibly relaxed into their chairs.
“Now, tomorrow we go to the ship for checkout and to move her from the yards to the port for final provisioning. Launch is now ten days away. The survey crew will join us in two days for ship orientation,” said Watez, still in a light mood.
“Where are our two engineers?” asked Rios.
“On the ship making final adjustments on the environmental system,” answered Watez.
“Captain you need to put a leash on those two. The last time I was over there they showed me that running gizmo they made. Their going to kill us all with their inventions,” said Rios.
“I don't know, that magnetic bed was neat,” Tanaka mumbled.
“Those two are the lest of our problems. My real concern is Carter. I want everyone to keep an eye on him. He knows just enough about being in space to be dangerous,” Watez said. All the fun had left her voice.
“One last point: Lilith and myself are to assist Doctor Lovelock as needed. Tanaka you are to assist Doctor Johnson, and Kondo will assist with any engineering Doctor Carter may need.”
“Where is Carter now?” asked Rios.
“He and the rest of the survey crew are getting a basic vacuum course.” Tanaka giggled at this.
“You mean like in third grade?”
“Yes like in third grade.” sighed Watez.
The last week was hectic the command crew needed to check all the ships systems, a job for a new ship that normally took a month or more. To add to their work load they had to train the survey team in ship safety and deep space procedures. Doctor Johnson had hours in a suit working on the far side telescope array, so he just need to become used to zero g.
Their best bit of luck was that Doctor Lovelock had served as a ship's doctor on a passenger liner when he was young, so he knew most of the shipboard procedures. This took some of the load off the command crew. He was easygoing and helpful, and by the end everyone was calling him ‘Doc,’ which he seemed to enjoy.
As was expected, Doctor Carter was a problem. It was impossible to convince him that his deep sea knowledge was useless. Watez, in a fit of frustration, cut his life line while they where practicing working outside of the ship. He was in no danger, but after drifting away from the hull and trying to swim back for twenty minutes Carter finally started to really listen to what they where trying to teach him, but because of the incident Watez and he would never be friends. Another small irritation for Watez was that Paulson had infected all but Doctor Carter with a virus, the main symptom being that they kept calling Watez ‘Skipper’ in casual conversation. A ship in space can get mighty small mighty fast, so Watez gave up trying to correct people. One day to launch and Watez had everyone move on to the ship full time and start the in-space routine. Everyone on board unhappy when she