Per Ardua Ad Astra
Chapter 16: Filling up the Base

Copyright© 2013 by normist

"Is that furnished or unfurnished?"

"It has all the basic furniture essentials, Sir. If you want anything else, please contact me."

"Right then. We had better go and inspect the Commodore's house first. By the way, Are the Base Exchange and the Commissary up and running yet?"

"No, but they will be by late tomorrow."

By now we had driven to the end of the runway and turned into the drive of a house set well back from the end of the runway. The Seabees Major handed me a key indicating the front door. I opened it, and the other three followed me in. To my surprise, we were greeted by the batman that Colonel Crisp had loaned me.

"Your house is ready for occupation, Commodore. When do you want to move in?"

"I don't know yet. I'll tell you soon.

We were soon exploring the house and poking our noses into everything. The decor seemed minimalist, but everything essential was present, even down to a couple of vases of flowers.

I turned to Steve and said, "Now how about we inspect your dog kennel."

"It's not a dog's kennel, Sirs!" exclaimed the Major.

"But it has to be," I said. "You see it's a home for the Assistant Dogsbody."

"Oh! I see, Sir."

We drove back down the runway road and as we approached the building with the Control Tower, the Major asked if we wanted to inspect it.

"May we?" Asked Kate. "I want to see where I'll be working."

"Yes let's," I said. "I must admit to some curiosity, myself."

Steve parked the car and we all trooped into the office block. The Major led us up the stairs to the second floor where there were four offices facing the runway with more facing the other three directions.

"The middle offices are for your secretaries and the corner offices are for the Commodore and the Base Commander. Follow me, please."

The Major led us through what was to become Kate's office and a connecting door to mine. They seemed to be almost fully equipped, except for a noticeable lack of filing cabinets.

"As you can see, there are no filing cabinets. We're trying hard to realize the paper-free office. Any paper coming in can be scanned and recycled. Any documents that must absolutely be retained can be scanned and sent to a registry. There'll be no need to retain them in the office. You'll notice that all the phones have a video capability. That goes for all the base. Next month, I believe that the other Base will be upgraded to the same."

"I'll be interested to discover Colonel Crisp's opinion on that."

"I believe, Commodore, that the good Colonel is in two minds about the new system."

After a quick visit to the Control Tower, upstairs from our offices, we headed back to the car. Back down the runway road we passed the laboratories that would be allocated to the scientific teams. At the end of the runway, the road turned left. The three buildings on our left were the Officer's Mess hall, Followed by the Commissary and Base Exchange. It also provides storage for the Mess Halls. As we passed, we could see there were deliveries being taken in. The third building held the other ranks Mess Hall on the first floor and the Non-Commissioned Officers' Mess Hall on the second.

Finally, at the round-about, we came to the Base Commanders house. A quick visit showed that it was furnished to about the same standard as mine. It was time to return to the Air Force Base. We dropped Kate off at the office and proceeded to the Mess.

We were greeted by Colonel Crisp.

"How is your new Base coming along?"

"Just fine. I expect that we'll be out of your hair by the end of the week. One thing that impressed me was the video phone system. I gather that you'll be getting them as well soon. What do you think of the idea?"

"I'm not sure. The only good thing about is that you can turn off the camera. I may get used to it, but I doubt it. How do you feel about it?"

"It strikes me that it could be beneficial. You can often get addition information from the expression of a person you're talking to."

After that, things went much faster. We moved into the new Base. The remaining marines from Magnolia moved down to Holloman. To do so, I flew Susan to Magnolia in the shuttle, which she flew back. I flew the Enterprise back with our passengers. Major Sims was coming as the Base commander. Oh, Yes. Steve had turned down the post and had opted instead for the job as my Adjutant, so the house at the junction at the end of the road into the base became the Major's, now transferred to the Space Service with promotion to Captain.

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