Thomas hailed Ann on the radio as soon as they stabilized in normal space. “Are we sane?” he asked.
“I am,” she told him curtly. “How’s your passenger, Ranar?”
“Out cold!” Thomas sounded merry about it. “Our boy genius doesn’t have as much grip as he thought. But don’t worry. He isn’t comatose. Just not laying down memories. He’ll come around. I’m going in to dock.”
“Stay in touch,” Ann threatened.
“Or you’ll what? Report me to Space Service?” He sounded smug.
“Damn right I’ll report you if you screw this up,” said Ann. “You got an amnesty deal for this. That must mean something to you.”
“Maybe,” he drawled. “Or maybe I want to settle down on this side of the jump.”
Ann absorbed this possibility with a cold little shock, but he sent her the frequency he could be reached on, so she decided he was just trying to shake her up.
“Don’t talk to me to pass the time of day, okay, yellow buns,” said Thomas, taking charge. “Hearing us talk to each other in Reetion might freak them out.”
“You don’t want me asking questions,” she told him grimly, “you make sure I don’t have any to ask.”
The ensuing silence tried her sanity more than the jump had done. Thomas’ ship reached the station and was quickly swallowed up. Presumably, he had docked without incident. She continued to watch the station, but there was no energy transmissions. She switched from pop music to old Earth vintage and played “The Rite of Spring” by Stravinsky from twentieth century Earth, watching for signals from the silent mission box. The longer she waited the more the waiting nagged at her. She scanned for the expected transmission from the mission box, cursing Thomas under her breath, but the station proved impenetrable.