Guardian Commander Peter leaned up against the wall outside Jeo’s offices. Using his override command, he checked them out over an hour ago. This guy was going to be a major security issue he could see it now. He reached into his cargo pants pocket and pulled out his tablet. A few light taps, and he pulled up everything he could find about the man.
Jeovanni Deteusch, recruited by ADAM with approval by Frank Kurns to run the IOS mining and manufacturing branch of the Queen's service. His former position was as a research and development scientist working for the Truitt corporation. When TQB achieved space travel and first put a private space station in lunar orbit, Jeo told off his boss and quit. He was immediately recruited to work for what was to become the Etheric Empire.
Peter had to chuckle. He tracked down fellow Guardian Eric and asked about the first time Jeo went up in a pod. According to the story that Eric told, Jeo was at his parent's house the night in question. They asked the Guardian about Jeo’s position not believing that he was actually in TQB now. As Eric explained what happened that night, Peter started laughing.
Eric explained to Jeo’s parents, “I’m heading over to a meeting on the Polarus, and Jeo here needs to get accustomed to his group a little before we take him to his post.”
“And where ” Mr. Deteusch had asked, “will Jeo’s post actually be?” He turned to look at his son, “He claims he doesn’t know.”
“Really?” Eric turned to Jeo. “No one told the lead on mining and manufacture of metals in space where his post is going to be?”
Jeo shook his head, “No, I figured I would either be in Colorado or possibly on the ships they talk about on the News.”
Eric grinned, “Jeo, there is one thing Bethany Anne doesn’t mess with, and that is inefficiency. Where do you believe she would have her new lead of Industrial Outer Space Mining and Manufacturing?” He paused a moment, then helped him out, “The hint is in the title.”
Jeo’s eyes lit up, “Outer space!”
Eric nodded, “Hell yeah! Buddy, you are just going to the Polarus to meet, greet, and get some work done. Your final destination in a few days is your new office on Space-Station-One.”
His father looked confused, “Don’t you mean Moon-Base-One? Or is there a new space station up there, like Skylab?”
Jeo wanted to facepalm in embarrassment, “That’s ISS dad, the International Space Station.”
His dad merely winked to Eric.
Eric replied, “Well, I hope you realize that if you spill this information, you could be endangering your son’s life, but we have a Space Station at L2, that’s Lagrange Point 2 out beyond the Moon. Jeo’s home and office will start there and then move as quickly as he can help get us into production out to the mining area.”
“Oh,” his mother answered, “Is that on the moon then?”
Eric looked down to the shorter lady, “No ma’am. Although I don’t know for sure, I imagine Jeo knows the most likely location for mining; it is his occupation after all.”
“Holy crap,” Jeo breathed, “I’m going out to the asteroid belt, aren’t I?” Before Eric could respond, Jeo continued, “With your technology, we don’t have to worry about Delta-V or crossing the Earth's Orbit or even water, right?” Eric just nodded, “So, take those out of the equation, and we want to go after Type M asteroids for metals and outer space manufacturing. No wonder Ms. Bethany Anne told me minimum three months.”
Mr. and Mrs. Deteusch watched as the two men got into the Pod. Mr. Deteusche asked before the hatch was shut, “Did you just say you are going to the ship Polarus?” When Eric agreed they were, he asked, “Didn’t you say that was near France right now?” Eric agreed it was. “How are you going to make it to France in thirty minutes?” getting to his real question.
Eric hit the button to close the hatch, “Short-cut!”
Mr. Deteusch could hear his son’s laugh get cut off. A few seconds later, the Pod smoothly went up about twenty feet, then they both heard the heavy ‘whoosh’ of air when it practically disappeared into the night sky.
The pods were a whole lot of fun especially for the uninitiated. According to the records, Jeo did a wonderful job out in the asteroid belt. He was in charge of construction and development of both the mining processes and the Queen's ship, the QBS Archangel. It was the very first Leviathan class battleship in existence.
Peter had access to all the records and even knew about Stephanie and some of her alternate personalities. Jeo was extremely lucky that it was Bobcat who first tripped to that and not one of the Guardians. Disrespecting the Queen or her handmaiden could cost you your life. That would be of course if the Queen didn’t get you first. It was his understanding that the problem had been fixed and Stephanie herself had control over her structure. Only she could change if she wanted to.
Checking the time, Peter could see it was almost 0900 hours. The members of Alpha Class should be climbing off the tram right about now. This was their second term, and they understood punctuality. That could not be said about Mr. Deteusch himself. Peter’s spies told him that the man in question was up very late partying at the bar owned by team BMW. It was just like them to screw with someone and then place bets to see if he showed up. One more minute and Peter would win the bet he had with ADAM. Who would be first in the office to greet the kids: Jeo or Stephanie?
Repeating to himself his earlier statement. Jeo was a major security risk. But then so was this particular group of kids. What they did on the Moon didn’t bear repeating. Last term Jeo took Delta Class on a tour of Earth engineering feats. They touched on all the continents in a time when the Etheric Empire was not having good relations with the world. He did it with a cluster of standard pods unaccompanied by any fighters or guardians. The man didn’t even take ship’s security with them. This time there would be a change. Peter had already requisitioned the two experimental five-person pods as well as one of the fighters. BMW was supposed to have all the bugs worked out of the new ten person pods. When they did, Peter had first dibs. There was too much in the way of secrets and special knowledge to allow Alpha Class to run wild this term.
“Guardian Peter?” Peter looked up to see the hologram of a very lovely lovely looking woman standing next to him.
“Stephanie, I presume? You just won me half an ounce of gold. Is he even alive this morning?” Peter pushed off the wall and stood up straight.
“He is functional. The students should be arriving within the next four minutes. Would you like to assist with greetings?”
The large Wechselbalg nodded. “Sure. I’ve met them already. Unlike Delta, this is a very cohesive group.” Peter opened the front doors as the lights started to come on.
“Delta class. Yes, I can see that. It was my belief that the balance between male and female in that group throws off the dynamic some.” The holographic woman stood in the center of the room prepared to greet the new class.
Peter pulled up Delta Class’s stats and checked them. “Hmm, you may be right. It’s too late to fix it. They will have to compensate somehow. I’ll send a message to both the Ds and Ship’s Maintenance and repair. That is their new posting this term. Three girls and two boys. Only one Wechselbalg among them. It might be a recipe for disaster if they can’t overcome the disparity. The Ds have a new program they have been dying to implement. It might help some. Thank you, Stephanie.”
The walls of the base leading toward Jeo Deteusch’s office were decorated with paintings and vid screens chronicling the achievements of Engineers and highlighting the construction of the Archangel. To the members of Alpha Class just watching the vids was pretty cool.
“I think we can download these on our tablets.” Ron fiddled with his.
“That would be kind of cool. I didn’t even know these were made.” Tina also pulled out her tablet.
“If you like you could even meet the man that created the ship.” All five students looked up and away from the screens to see Guardian Commander Peter watching them from the doorway.
“Sorry. The vids…” Tina pointed at the screens.
“No need to apologize. They are pretty cool. I’ve ridden inside the Archangel, and it’s a kick ass ride. This is Stephanie.” A tall blond woman appeared out of nowhere.
Maxim jumped back with a “whoa!”
Peter only smiled. “As you should have smelled and noticed she is one of the many EIs that help to run our Empire. Stephanie is a bit smarter than some of those others. She has been around far longer than many. She is Jeo’s primary aid and administrative assistant. If you have any problems or questions, she is your best option for resolution.”
Peter peered at each of the five students. “We have already discussed the reason I am here with you. Thank you for your reports by-the-way. They will be of value to the team digging into the alien base.”
All five kids visibly started and just stared at Peter. “They are digging into the base?” Nestor spoke first.
“Of course. Your reports, even Bobcat’s, showed that there was valuable information to be found there. We have a couple of years before we leave. It gives some of the teams something to do as well as provide training. Bravo Class is actually going down there to assist General Lance. They will also learn how our military operates and team building exercises.”
“Have they found anything yet?” Maxim stared at his future commander.
“Just wreckage. I don’t normally get to see the reports, but I checked knowing one of you might ask. When and if you cycle around to the General you may get to return. For now, this is your assignment and Jeo your instructor. In fact, I hear the man in question approaching now.” Peter turned toward the rear hatch.
As all five students watched, a young looking man wearing wrinkled clothes tripped over the hatch seal and tumbled head over heels into the room. He landed on his posterior and sat on the deck blinking at them.
“Did I miss anything?”
Peter just groaned and covered his eyes.