Elio Hudson let out a deep breath as he looked at the idylic scene on the small console monitor. It was a photo he had taken of a field of wildflowers last Spring in southeast Texas, a hundred miles from the Houston Space Center and his other life.
“Hey, you might want to save that for later. Where we’re going has a much broader canvas.” Eledoro Salazar tapped Elio on the shoulder while sitting in the co-pilot’s chair. Although the mission leader and Naval Commander had only met the Spanish computer scientist eleven months ago while they were training for this mission, they had become fast friends.
Hudson removed his restraints and lifted his muscular frame from the pilot’s seat. “Routine systems check complete, Eledoro. Let’s go join the others. Our mission update from Houston is scheduled to come in about five minutes from now.”
“Right you are. Let’s go.”
The thin, perpetually cheerful Spaniard followed the African-American former football player out of the command module hatch, and using hand holds, navigated down the primary corridor to the main crew hub, which served as galley, lounge, communications and control bay, and what chemical and electrical engineer Cyrus Woods called “the bullpen,” much to Oriana’s and Soleil’s dismay.
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