Send Offs

The data cube felt very light weight in the Marshal’s hand.

The Marshal shoved the data cube into a pocket in his EVA suit and they marched down the hall to meet the Captain at the airlock.

Bruce Jensen, Hikari Roku, Captain McCormick, and Paddy Lohan already stood at the airlock. Paddy began the ceremony by saluting.

"Commanding Officer of the USCSS Montero, Captain Kenneth McCormick."

The Captain saluted back at him and faced door.

"On this solemn occasion, we stand ready to carry out the duty of this final service, to render appropriate honor to our fallen shipmates. First to the nameless men and women who fell victim to this unspeakable disaster aboard the Cronus those 3 quarters of a century ago... and now... Doctors Daniel Cooper and Liam Flynn, Veteran of the ORDF Sergeant Albert Johns, and Second Officer of the USCSS Cronus Ms. Valerie Reyes. May God watch over your souls and may you rest in peace. Ms Lori Clayton, as the last surviving member of the USCSS Cronus crew. Do you have any words?"

Clayton looked sheepishly around at the Montero crew and shook her head in silence.

Paddy closed the inner airlock door and jettisoned the bodybag carrying Reyes' body out into the inky dark of deep space.

————————————

A few moments later...

“Ok, now let’s have the data from the Cronus.” the Captain says to Clayton and Roberts.

"Here. Let’s do this.” The Marshal handed it over. "I hope we can get out of here fast. If that bucket of bolts gives you a hard time, tell it the Marshal’s office is going to blow it up." he said jokingly. “While you do that, I’ll get Clayton into cryo now."

The Captain took the data cube and headed to the MUTHUR mainframe while Roberts and Clayton headed for the cryo chamber.

Walking to the cryo chamber. "Clayton, I want you to know I hope we can fix this. But if they can’t… do you want any particular way out?" asked Roberts.

She looked at Roberts with contemplation in her eyes, “What do you mean, Marshal?”

He gave a sigh, "Never mind, let’s just get you to sleep."

“There is no way out of this. If Weyland didn’t own me before, they own me now. If you are smart, you’ll find a way out of this yourself.” she said, resigned to her fate.

"I hope we do all get out of this. Time will tell but I will do my best to get us all back in one peace." said Roberts with a warm smile.

Using one of the many terminals in the Cryochamber, Clayton booted up one of the cryopods and calibrated the settings. The lid hissed open. She undressed, climbed in and sighed heavily as she closed her eyes and laid back. The lid closed and she was soon unconscious.

Roberts also sighed, turned and walked back to the bridge looking for the Captain.

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