Inspector Mako Ireson is having a tour of the corvette Minnow before heading out into deep space with them...
Then, from the mess deck below them, Rangi’s voice emerged again from the hubbub, explaining to their passenger that this was where the crew ate their meals and relaxed. A minute or two later, a question was audible from the inspector.
‘I know that port is to the left when you’re facing the front of the ship and starboard to the right,’ he said. ‘So which way am I facing now?’
Alex looked determinedly at his desk screens, taking no notice of the laughter that erupted after a thunderstruck couple of seconds on both the mess deck, and everywhere else within earshot. It would be expecting miracles, really, to expect spacers not to crack up at that.
‘Please, sir?’ That was Ordinary Star Jenni Asforth at the Flight Control station, addressing the skipper in a pleading tone. ‘Can we keep him? I’ll feed him and take him for walks, honest!’