“Penn, do we have room up there for a few more containers?” a voice asked Michael Penn from the wall, catching his attention.
Penn looked over at the monitor where he saw Bobcat looking at him. With a grinning William and Marcus looking over Bobcat’s shoulder into the video camera from over 200,000 miles away.
Damn. He was doomed. There could only be one reason those three individuals were grinning at him like three Cheshire Cats from their lair back on earth.
They were about to set him up.
Penn took a moment to compose his thoughts and finally replied, “Is it too late to resign?” Their raucous laughter and glee traveled through the etheric link and out his speakers to travel down his container and was shared with those in the next container over.
Coach stuck his head through the opening, and the movement caught Penn’s attention. When he looked over, Coach asked, “What shit are we about to receive?” Then finished his question with a grin. Soon, Penn noticed that ReaLea and Bree had their heads sticking out from behind Coach.
Penn rolled his eyes and turned back to the recalcitrant Bobcat, “I take that is a no?”
“Well,” Bobcat replied, “I suppose I could ask Coach to grab your items from your cubicle and show you the door?”
Penn heard the snickers from his team. Penn grumped, “Damned difficult to walk back to Earth, you arse!” Bobcat smiled at him. “So, lay it on me. How many are we talking?” Penn asked.
“Oh, only about ten,” Bobcat started, and Penn felt his tension begin to release slightly, “… to the second power.” Bobcat finally finished.
Even the Coach crew didn’t have a comment to that. “You want us,” Penn pointed to himself and the offscreen group, “to pull together a hundred new containers up here?” Penn was trying to sound calm and collected and to NOT allow the squeak in his voice that was threatening to call his manhood a lie.
Bobcat looked over his shoulder as Marcus piped in, “I was for sending up a hundred and thirty, but the General wants thirty for a base in Australia.” Bobcat nodded his agreement as he turned back to the screen.
Penn answered, “Marcus, you are off my Christmas list this year.” Marcus made a face like he was hurt, “So, is there a reason we need to stuff a hundred containers up here?”
This time, it was William who spoke. “Yeah, we need to get some of this stuff off Earth. We should have enough people. Well, twenty, to put up there and ADAM is picking up chatter that we have some potential sticky-finger suggestions going on. Like major power players wanting to see what’s up. Easier to move the candy jar than teaching the child he or she shouldn’t get grabby.”