Pamela             That building is going to be the new clinic. Until there’s a larger, more qualified staff to handle the    healthcare of the colony, Congress wants the licensed doctors to live near or, preferably, at the clinic. It’s just more efficient.

Foster              I see.

Pamela             You don’t think it will cause problems, do you?

Foster              Oh, no; I’m just trying to learn this new layout through and through. The others keep coming to me   with the questions about things I don’t know. I’m getting tired of sending them to Debars, and I’m pretty sure he’s getting tired of it too.

Pamela             Well, you can always send them to me.

Foster              Would you mind?

Pamela             Of course not. Besides, Debars is good at what he does, but he can have trouble relating to these people sometimes.

Foster              Yes, I know what you mean. Politicians don’t get out so much anymore.

Pamela             Well, who does?

Foster              In any case, if you’re still ready to deal with mobs of angry colonists, Ms. Faraday, I’ll send them straight to you.

Pamela             Much obliged, Chief Foster.

Foster                          … Jonathan.

Pamela             Pamela.

Foster              And so we actually meet.

Pamela             [laughing] Of course, isn’t it just like the colonies? So do you like to go by John, or did the others decide for you?

Foster              Well, you can’t stop it.

Enter Sailor and Shoal, standing in doorway

Sailor              Hello Chief John. Oh, hi Shoal’s mom.

Pamela             Hi boys.

Foster              Hey there kiddo. What’s going on?

Sailor              We were wondering if we can come in Control today.

Foster              Sure, for a little bit. Ms. Faraday and I have to get back to work soon, though.

Sailor              Come look at this, Shoal: this is where Chief John talks to Congress.

Shoal               Colonies can’t really talk to Congress, Sailor. It’s just lights and signals.

Sailor              Yeah, I know that. But anyway, I just call it talking.

Pamela             [to Foster] Thank goodness there is another child here! All we’d heard before we arrived was that the double-digit colonies were having the hardest time starting Beta. I wasn’t able to imagine what terrorism Shoal would have subjected us to if he didn’t have a friend to run around with.

Foster              Looks like everyone is fortunate to have the boy, then.

Pamela             Mm.

                                    Do you know if, is it—is it just that …

Foster              Well, no. I know of a number who are still fertile. Suffice it to say we once had a rather scary experience out here. If Debars really wants Forty-Four to support a growing Beta Generation, I’m afraid he’ll   have his work cut out for him.

Pamela             Dear. I didn’t realize the situation was a sensitive matter.

Foster              We all have our mountains to climb, don’t we?

pamela             Yes, I know you’re right. But at the moment, I think it’s best that we focus on one mountain at a time.

Foster              Very true.

               Sorry boys, time to go. Ms. Faraday and I have a lot of work to do.


The End

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