The hangar that Saffron enters is already quite busy with wraiths and dropships. Such is the scope of an orbital platform that the large room even holds a couple battlecruisers. There are people scurrying around everywhere performing their jobs. Lilly sets the science vessel down in their assigned spot without hitting anyone or anything. Imogen’s first order of business is to see to the exterior. She hurries down the ramp. Now that she is outside the ship, Imogen notices one other key detail about the Imperative. Everything aboard the platform is upside down. Above her head, the ceiling is a smooth concrete surface painted with lines indicating ship berths. The floor on which she stands, though, has lighting fixtures springing from it, sending their glow up instead of down. She hears Lilly up on the ramp behind her mutter about pilots. Whoever brought this platform into orbit did a lousy job.
Imogen heads over to a nearby hangar attendant, a brown-skinned man with a gray crewcut. “My science vessel’s covered with devourer acid. Do you have anything here to hose it down with?” she asks him.
“Hose it down? Okay, let me see what I can do… You got a water requisition form?” The man looks at Imogen expectantly.
“Lilly!” Imogen shouts, turning back to Saffron. “This is some sort of military thing,” she says, waving at the man.
Lilly joins her partner and looks to the quartermaster to see what the issue is.
“You got a water requisition form?” he asks again.
“No. Just arrived. What do we have to do to get some water?” While he starts to rifle through papers in a drawer nearby, Lilly turns to Imogen with a question. “Would fire-suppression work for this?”
“Whoa, whoa. Do you want water or fire-suppression?” the man asks, pausing. “They’re different forms in different folders.”
“Which one’s faster?” Lilly asks.
“I don’t know,” the quartermaster says with a careless shrug.
Lilly hears a frustrated sigh from her non-military companion. “We’ll just do the water requisition then,” Lilly tells the quartermaster. “That’s what you wanted, right, Imogen?”
“I asked for something to hose down the outside of the ship that’s covered with acid because we were just trying to stop your platform from being devoured!” Imogen gripes. There is goo visible on the hull.
“Well, good. Thank you. That’s what being in the military is about,” the quartermaster blithely replies. Over the din of all the other noise in the hangar, he suddenly recognizes the shorter woman’s accent, and his mood shifts. What does this stupid Umojan want? “Okay, fine! You can get your water, but I’m going to need to know your ID number and all that. This is coming out of your unit’s budget.” He starts filling out the form.
“Yeah, sure,” Lilly says, handling all that. This whole thing is her fault, after all, for recklessly flying in too close to the devourers.
The quartermaster fills out the form and hands it over with a slap. “Okay, that’s good. That takes care of that form. I’m also going to need you to file your Identity Friend or Foe.” Lilly hands over the chit with no fuss. “Okay, and uh…” he looks down a list, trying to see what he can get away with. “Oh, here we go! I’m going to need your environmental certification. Oh, do you not have one?” he asks snidely.
Imogen laughs. “She’s the cleanest ship on this planet,” she says, handing over the Umojan forms, which have far more exacting specifications than Dominion ones.
“Gimme that,” he says, snatching it from her with a muttered, “Stupid Umojans!” He begrudgingly signs what he needs to, angrily stamping each page, and practically flinging the documents back at Imogen.
“Oh, come now,” she says, feigning distress, “you’re not going to take this up with the comptroller, are you?”
“You know what? I am going to take this up with the comptroller. I’m going to go up to her office right now. It’s not even far away, just over in Sector 2. You better watch yourself, Umojan.”
Imogen smiles inwardly, pleased that he has revealed the information she was seeking. She makes note of the name on his uniform, though, since she seems to have made herself another enemy. This Quinn could be a problem later. For now, though, she has what she needs to take care of Saffron.
As Imogen starts pulling down hoses to spray the science vessel, Lilly notices a blonde terran woman peeking out of Saffron. Lilly jogs up the ramp and pushes Snowball back inside before he sees much of the platform. Maybe on the surface of Tarsonis he can spy around, but not up here, she thinks. Snowball tries to get around her, but Lilly is much stronger. “Nope, you’re sitting this one out,” she tells the changeling. Snowball’s eyes narrow in annoyance, but he knows this is a losing battle. He steps back into the central control hub, and when Lilly holds out some PowerAde, he takes it, resigned to just hang out in her room. Lilly locks him in and then rejoins Imogen outside once the ship is clear of goo. There is no lasting damage to Saffron, and Old Red looks fine, too.