Another dance

I added 580 words to Grampy’s Dance this morning and figured out the flow, I think.  It’s going to be a back and forth between the thirty-seventh celebration of Landing Day and Landing Day itself.  It could go as high as 8,000 words.

Here’s the sneak I promised yesterday:

“What’s the baby doctor doing up here?” Nathan Ackerman asked, just before the lander released from the orbital ship.

The baby doctor was Elizabeth McCartney. She was strapped into the extra couch at the environmental console. She wasn’t supposed to be in the control cabin, wasn’t one of the command staff, but she had talked Strangways into it. The damned Brit always had been a soft touch for redheads.

“Wants to watch us work together,” Strangways said; he grinned. “Wants to witness the command-team gestalt.”

“Bullshit,” Nathan said. “She wants to see the surface before the others do.” Strangways shrugged.

“What will it hurt, Nat?” he said.

Nathan didn’t argue; he knew how it was when Strangways made up his mind. So there she sat. Didn’t make a sound, didn’t cause any sort of stir at all, just listened to the practiced chatter of the five members of the command team.

Becker was at navigation, Jacobi worked the systems board, Perez handled the waldoes that controlled the directed drop of the pods, and Nathan and Strangways were in the pilots’ chairs.

The lander followed the equipment pods down to the surface along the drop line, as smooth and as fast as a bead of water along a thread of spider’s silk.  Everything was green light and nominal.

“All seven pods down and chutes disengaged,” Perez said, after a time.

“Touchdown in eleven minutes,” Becker said.

Strangways grinned and offered up his hand to Nathan for a high five and Nathan grinned back as he slapped Strangway’s palm.

“Ah, fuck,” Jacobi said.

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