“It looks like we caught it in time.” Guam was patching the damage that Sweden had caused. He was also keeping a wary eye on the pressure and temperature readings that were feeding across his visor HUD.

“Good.” Britain’s chubby face was nodding nervously in the upper left hand corner of Guam’s HUD. “Make sure those readings don’t stay in the red much longer. We’ve come too far to lose the dome now.”

Guam grunted as he carefully put his weight into turning the handle of his torque wrench. The tubing that Sweden had ripped from the walls required very precise pressure control and he was conscious of the gauge bumping precariously close to the red-line. Once he was satisfied that the tubing was properly secured he captured a still image of the repair and uploaded it along with a note of the readings to the central log that Britain was maintaining.

Britain was sat in the anteroom outside the Chief Overseer’s office. He scanned through the log that Guam had just uploaded, confirmed receipt, checked off the open task on his clipboard and saved the file. He let out a long sigh of relief. There were still a few red alerts blinking for his attention but the integrity of the dome had been his primary concern.

After setting Guam the repair task he had instructed Chad and Mali to begin unloading the delivery pod and organising the contents so that work could begin on the expansion as soon as the remaining crews arrived. He had to hand it to Guam, the boy wasn’t stupid. Opening the airlock to allow Sweden to escape had been a stroke of genius and had neutralised a potentially disastrous situation. He didn’t think any of Guam’s crew would have been able to stand up to the barbarian that had been trashing his precious dome like a feral animal.

He sighed again, consumed by a deep sense of foreboding. As soon as the dome airlock had closed he had received a notification on his clipboard from the Overseer. Barbuda had been watching the feeds and had called Britain to his office when he saw his daughter being dragged away by the Southlander. Britain could see his career opportunities flitting away but he was resolved to defend his team. His blood might not be noble but his heart was in the right place.

The meeting notification on his clipboard flashed and beeped at him. At the same time the door to Barbuda’s office hissed open and Britain felt his pulse quicken.

It was time. Time to find out the answer to the ultimate question.

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