"…but I still don't remember receiving any word that there would any research equipment in this shipment… well, here he is. Dr. Simmons! Over here!"
Thomas had just entered into the Docking Bay through the door next to the Bay Controller's office. Dwarfed by the immense size of the room (if it could even be called that), and further by an enormous, blocky ship were two men. One, the shorter of the two was waving what looked like a clipboard in the air, and was calling Thomas' name.
As large as the bay was, it took more than a minute for Thomas to get to where the two men were standing. Exhaust fumes from this new ship filled the bay, merging with the odor of stagnant oil, coolant, and smoke from welded metal. The sweet tinge of human sweat tied these all together. An almost overpowering smell, and the whole bay seemed to be almost saturated in it. Thomas couldn't help thinking that this was the reason he stayed away from such places. He looked over to Joe as he walked, but his colleague appeared unaffected.
The bay stretched nearly two hundred yards front to back, five hundred yards side to side. It was small as docking bays went, but, to the scientist, it was amazingly large. Looking to the ceiling, well… that was a sight to behold. It was almost hypnotic to see it so high up, beams crisscrossing one another like a world built out of match sticks. 'Those beams must be bigger around than I am' Thomas thought. But right now, they seemed like they were nothing.
As Thomas began to get closer he was able to clearly make out the two men. The shorter one, only about five feet tall, was the Bay Controller, Roger Gaines. Unlike Thomas, Gaines had not been fortunate enough to keep his hair. Standing next to him was a man, maybe a little taller that Thomas, longhaired, unshaven, wearing a stained pilots jumpsuit tucked into his steel weighted boots. He must have been the one who just arrived.
"Dr. Simmons." Gaines greeted him with a handshake. "It seems you have a delivery." Thomas gave him a puzzled look.
"Yeah, two boxes, both pretty big. You'll need an anti-grav transport to get 'em wherever you need 'em. I don't know what's in 'em, they just told me to make sure and get 'em here to you soon as possible."
"Dr. Simmons, do you have any idea who this is from?"
Thomas looked to Gaines. "I really don't know. I'm certainly not expecting anything…"
"Wait, I almost forget! I'm supposed to give this to you too." The pilot reached into his right pants leg pocket and brought forth a rectangular cube. It was coated in a clear plastic on all but one end, which instead had several flat, rectangular prongs sticking out from the recessed opening. Inside the plastic was what appeared to be a computer chip. He handed it to Thomas.
"A com chip…" Thomas looked up at Gaines and the pilot. "Do either of you have a portable com screen?"
The pilot nodded, turned around and entered his ship. A few moments later he returned with the inch thick squared screen in his hand. He handed it to Thomas, who slipped the chip, pronged side first, into the upper right side of the mounting board surrounding the screen. There was a faint humming and the screen flickered on. A thin, oriental looking face appeared. Like Thomas, he wore glasses and strips of silver stood out in his otherwise jet black hair.
"Hello, Doctor Simmons. This is Doctor Otaku from the Deimos labs. I know this is short notice, but I would like your input on an experiment I have been working on. Your knowledge of quantum physiology should prove useful. The two boxes I sent you contain the test equipment you'll need. I look forward to hearing from you Doctor. Until then." The man pictured in the monitor waved his hand an a 'goodbye' motion, and the screen turned off.
"Tom, what are you going to do?"
"I suppose we should at least take a look at what he sent us."
"Right, I'll grab some of the guys and we'll make some room in the lab."
"Alright. Mr. Gaines?" The overweight man looked up at him. "Could you send for a crew to scan these boxes. I want to make sure they don't contain explosives of any kind. If everything checks out, please have the crew send them to my lab."
Gaines nodded. "Will do."