Chapter 07.4

Valerie spent the next few hours emailing Cmdr. Lewis, Tom’s mom & dad, Penny’s mom & dad, and getting all of the details she could. A bit shaken, Valerie glanced at the clock, 04:35. She and Brandon were now getting off work, Carl and Jackie were about to hit the rack, and Tom and Sally would be climbing out of bed. Valerie stabbed the intercom to the control deck, “Brandon, is Carl down there?

“Yes,” he replied. “Do you need him up there?”

“No, I’ll be right down. I need to talk with both of you, right away.”

Minutes later Valerie stepped out of the ladder-well on the first deck. “What’s up, Doc?” Carl mugged.

“No laughing matter, I’m sorry to say. I need your help. Could both of you pull a twelve hour shift for the next few days or so? I just received a confidential email from Mission Support notifying me that Tom’s wife, Penny, has died. I have to break it to him and I believe he will need to take a few days off. He’ll need time to grieve and deal with matters as best he can. He shouldn’t have to worry about the daily duties.”

“Wow!” Carl exclaimed. “First Sally, now Tom.”

“What about Sally?” Valerie asked, sharply.

“She didn’t tell you?” Carl asked in return. “She got an email from her husband, two or three days ago. He’s filing papers for a divorce. I would have thought she had told you about it.” Valerie was silent for a few moments wondering why she was just finding out about this. Dr. Willis would have seen the email from Bobby to Sally. Valerie was surprised that Pam hadn’t given her a heads-up, since the two have been personally acquainted since college, but Pam must report directly to Commander Lewis, so she isn’t permitted to contact Dr. Thomas directly regarding any email correspondence.

Pages: 1 2