was doomed. Tanaka was giving her updates on Rios: she was finally getting the hang of the controls, but she was also driving herself to exhaustion. Paulson, on their way back to the airlock, had one more surprise for her: In what he called the ‘gym rec room,’ there were two counter-rotating nine-meter-diameter centrifuges. At nine revolutions a minute, they produced half an earth gravity. Watez was talked into trying it. If she moved her head suddenly the Coriolis effect was murder, but it worked and she was able to jog in it. Watez ordered everyone in the team to take a two day rest before they killed themselves or her.
The door opened and in walked director Stryker, followed by three older men and one young woman. Watez could tell them apart, but could not really remember what they looked like with her eyes closed.
She opened her eyes and stood as Stryker started to speak, “Commander this is Doctor Carter, his assistant Ryoko Suzuki, and here is Doctor Johnson and last is Doctor Lovelock.”
“Hello, I am Commander Watez,” she said. Watez was far enough away not to have to shake hands and was at parade rest, so she didn’t bow. “This military stuff comes in handy sometimes,” she thought.
“Everyone please sit,” said Stryker as he seated himself at the end of the table. The others followed in the order they were introducedm on the far side of the table from Watez.
“Where are the rest of the crew?” asked Doctor Carter.
“I gave them a few days off. The launch is only two weeks away and I don’t need them burned out,” Watez said. Stryker cleared his throat.
“Well, they can catch up later. Now here is the rundown:” Stryker launched into an explanation of the crew makeup, “Commander Watez is the ship and mission commander. all safety and security decisions are hers. Lieutenant Rios is the pilot and second in command, Lieutenant Tanaka is the navigator and backup pilot.”
“Sorry to interrupt but is the Commander in charge of the survey as well?” asked Doctor Carter who did not look sorry at all.
“Yes, Doctor, Commander Watez has the final word,” answered Stryker in a mock-friendly tone.
“That is unacceptable! I need full control…”
Stryker cut off Carter before he could finish, “Doctor that is the way it is going to be, or you will not going.” the meeting went downhill from there.
Watez was standing at the rail of the observation deck on the roof of the Foundation's headquartersm humming and clicking to herself, and not looking at the view. The building was tall enough to see over the trees that made this part of the habitat into a park. One could see down the barrel of the whole cylindrical world. Ten kilometers distant was a strip of tall building that went all the way around the inner circumference. Some clown had named it this cylinder ‘East Eden’ when the habitat was under construction, and it had stuck. Its counter-rotating twin was called ‘Happy Valley,’ and was mostly farm land.
“Director, how can I help you,” Watez said, turning and opening her eyes to face the newcomer.
“There's no one else here, Amber Dawn, you don’t have to be so formal,” said Stryker.
“Yes, father,” she said with a smile.
“Oh, it's ‘father’ now? When you where little you only called me that when you wanted something.”
“And you only called me Amber Dawn when I did something you thought was a no-no,” said Watez, giving Stryker her best little girl look. This made Stryker laugh and he hugged his adopted child.
“Amber, it's going to be all right. If you could come back from Neptune, you can handle an idiot ground pounder,” he said.
“Can I throw him out the airlock?” asked Watez in the same little girl voice.
“Amber Dawn!” said Stryker in mock shock.
‘Doctor Daniel Carter,’ read Watez as she sipped a beer in the lounge across from Eden University, ‘Professor of Archeology at UC Berkeley.’ He was Earth born and raised, an expert in marine archeology and deep diving research. Carter had the good luck - or bad depending on which way you looked at it - to be giving a lecture at Luna University in Clark City when the Argo news hit. He went straight to the Federation government and volunteered his help. It must had been a shock when he found out that the Federation had very