“Wow,” the captain said. “So this is what it’s like to have a competent crew.”
The engineer grumbled and crawled back into the hatch.
“Come on,” the captain said to Angela. “I’ll introduce you to the passengers.” She headed for the stairs, then hesitated, glancing back at Ozzie. “Oh, and by the way, the name’s Va’el. Nice to meet you.”
She climbed the stairs. Angela and Genesis followed closely. They stopped one floor below the balcony and stepped out into the massive central chamber. The mass of refugees spread out into the distance.
“Hey folks, this is your captain speaking,” Va’el said, and her voice boomed out through loudspeakers. “Turns out those technical difficulties we’ve been experiencing are a bigger deal than anticipated. It’s nothing to panic about, but we’re going to move you to the planet just to be safe. If you’ll please come forward in a calm and orderly manner, this young lady here will take care of everything. Thanks.”
She winked at Angela and headed back down the stairs. The refugees looked to Angela tentatively, waiting for her to do something.
“Where are we going to put them?” Genesis asked. “This is a lot of people to suddenly drop on a city.”
“The park,” Angela said. “There’s plenty of room, and it’s secluded enough. I’d like you to go through first and coordinate things on the other side.”
“You’re not just trying to protect me, are you?”
“No,” Angela said. “I just think there should be a human down there in case things get out of hand. Wouldn’t want anybody to think it’s an invasion or something.”
“Well… okay,” Genesis said. “Just be careful. I still don’t know if I trust Ozzie.”
“Don’t worry,” Angela said. “I can handle her.”
She gestured with her left hand and a portal opened beside her. A few of the refugees drew back.
“Alright,” Angela said. “I want everyone to line up single-file and follow my friend here.”