In a guest suite with four rooms opening to a shared living area, O’Bien talked to the three Junyo survivors on a cozy couch. Two sixers were standing behind her looking stern. She could see they were making the guys uncomfortable, and the girl rebellious, so she whispered to the officers to move out of their line of sight. Since the two young men were looking at Moxy more than at the Ambassador, Karen addressed her questions to her in a pleasant manner.
“So you’re Moxy. Your friends are…?”
Moxy paused chewing her gum. You didn’t have to tell a teen how to find what they wanted from a kitchen machine. Moxy motioned. “The wide guy is Liro Lycheck. Opera singing student. The tall one is Stavia Haan-Newton. Computer geek.”
“Nice to meet you, Liro and Stavia. Ok, I have to ask, Moxy, how did you three end up in that pod?”
“Not a clue,” Moxy said.
Karen frowned. “You have no idea how you got into deep space in an escape pod?”
“It’s all a blur.”
“We have the best doctors from Earth on board. We can use hypnosis to help you remember how you got separated from Junyo.”
Moxy shook her head. “No, we’re not comfortable with that. I heard of someone’s mind getting totally messed up from hypnosis. Besides, it’s pretty obvious the ship was in trouble and we were lucky enough to escape.”
Karen sighed. “Yes, speaking of the Junyo ship, the three of you weren’t even supposed to be on it. I’m sorry, but I do need to determine your motives and actions one way or another.”
Moxy’s face changed. “Oh, yeah, you’re the big wig Ambassador. I guess they told you stuff.”
Karen raised her eyebrows. “Yes, they told me pretty much all the stuff. There were no teenagers hired to go on Junyo’s QDD test flight. How did you even know about it? She added icily.”
Moxy pointed at Stavia. “Computer geek, remember?”
Karen had worry lines. “That was a major breach. Why in the universe would you stow away on a dangerous test flight?” Karen’s voice hardened. “Were you responsible for the Junyo not returning to Earth?”
Moxy looked genuinely alarmed. “Whoa, no way! Look, we wanted to get away from the Pandora Pandemic on Earth and take our chances in space. Nothing to lose, pretty much. No way did we want to sabotage the mission.”
Karen sighed again. That actually sounded realistic for a teenaged brain.
“Ok, what was the problem with Junyo that you had to escape from?”
“I haven’t a clue. We weren’t exactly on the bridge or anything. We were stuffed into the pod making the electronics look normal.”
The Ambassador nodded grimly. That, too, sounded realistic, unfortunately. She wasn’t likely to get the answer to the Junyo mystery out of the teens. “Well, to say the least, you three are grounded big time. I’m having you confined to this suite.”
“That’s cruel, when there’s an awesome rec hall,” Moxy said.
Liro spoke for the first time. “I could do a concert in there that would shock you.”
Stavia giggled, and Moxy hushed them sharply.
“No,” Karen said sternly, “you’re staying right here. You’re lucky you’re not in the brig.” She rose to punctuate the conversation and exited.
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