De Coursey could have spent a lot longer with Millard Kelso, skipper of the Ptolemy, chewing over the old days. Things had been so much better then, when they hadn't been so much worse, of course. Kelso also seemed to have a knack of picking up rare and interesting beverages of a quaffworthy nature on his helter-skelter schedule of fuel dumps and deep space refill rendezvous.
But duty called, and Jan transferred back to the Endurance to do what… steam out to some half-baked “cultural exchange” recce to Viden II, of all the God-forsaken, cobweb-covered outposts of the civilised Universe.
His first words to Maddox as he entered the Bridge were indicative of his general feelings upon the matter.
“Viden II, Captain!? Who’d have ever though that Fleet would actually run out of useful things for us to do?” he grinned the kind of grin that a man makes when getting a hypo in the rump, the kind of grin that says ‘this is a pain, but it’s ridiculous enough to deserve a smile.’
A fresh faced Ensign in blue turned toward the Science Chief, blue light illuminating his face weirdly.
“Do you want the scope Sir?” he ventured.
De Coursey waved him back to the Science Station's binocular scanning device.
“That’s all right son, you’ll know when I want them.”