“Mister Mazzello?”

Tom jerked from his stupor. He blinked a few times, then shut off the book he had been trying to read. “Yes?”

The face of a young mechanic filled the screen next to him. She smiled and said, “We’ve found your problem. There is a crack in the casing for you Atolh Coil.”

“How bad is it?”

The mechanic frowned. “Well, the good news is that’s an easy part to replace. The bad news is we don’t have the part and it will probably take a week for us to get one. The worst news is – because it posses an explosive risk – we can’t let you leave with it in this condition. We do have a selection of loaners you can choose from, so if you want to come back we’ll get you all set up.” Opposite him a door silently slid open.

Tom sighed and said, “Thanks.”

The screen turned off.

After another sigh, Tom unbuckled and drifted across the room and through the door to check out their selection of loaner shuttles.

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