As the pilots are preparing their crafts to leave Tergara, the military adjusts their protocols for ships leaving the planet. Fortunately, with Darvin’s extensive contacts in the military, the updated procedures quickly land on his desk. With the new information in hand, Darvin checks the schedule of the upcoming departures and grins when he realizes there is time to distribute the update to all the pilots. After transcribing the information to three separate devices, Darvin heads to the hangar set aside for Giselle’s spacecraft. Will Darvin find Giselle ready to leave? Or will he find the pilot unprepared for her expedition?
Darvin sauntered through the hangar doors and strode across the open chamber, stopping beside the ship. His fingertips reached up and traced the cold chassis as his gaze swept about the sparse space. The living mountain clenched his hand and banged the hull. “Giselle, are you aboard the craft?”
A groan ripped through the vast room as the pilot’s head rose from inside the cockpit. With a huff, the young pilot peered over the compartment. Her eyes rolled up as she twirled her fingers. “Darvin, what are you doing here? I figured you would have more important matters to attend to rather than pestering me before my launch?”
“I’m here to determine your readiness for your departure.” He kept his fingertips pressed against the cold metal as he sauntered under the vessel’s chassis. When he came to the front of the vessel, he knocked against the hull as he stepped out from under the craft. “Given our shared history, are you surprised by this final visit to ensure a smooth expedition?”
The pilot rubbed her forehead as she clambered out of the ship and climbed down the ladder. Once she reached the bottom rung, Giselle dropped to the ground and spun about to lean against the rough rungs. Propping her foot against the last one, she folded her arms across her chest. “I expected as much, but I was hoping you would trust me to follow your instructions. Which portion of your detailed directives do you consider too unwieldy to observe?”
“There’s no need to be snippy.” The living mountain shook his head as he sauntered down the hull, tracing it with his fingertips. When he stepped next to Giselle, he removed the bottom panel, exposing the inner circuitry. Darvin leaned against the hatch and probed the circuits. “Despite the quality of the supply chain, given the quick turnaround, it’s important to triple check everything.”
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