"And the second good news," Sgt Sweet continued, "Here's a card with some spending money on it, like you asked."
"Thank you, sir." said Tom, accepting the card. "How much is on it?"
"One-thousand dollars." said Sgt. Sweet.
"Oh wow, that's so generous!"
"Actually, it's not my generousity. You are getting paid for your time here. I asked the higher-ups if you could get some of your money now, and this is the response."
"Ah, well still, thank you for getting this to me, sir."
"No problem. Anyway, Ensign Chapman will meet you here at 1400, so you have some time to get ready."
"OK. Anything else?"
"No, that's it, just don't forget," said Sgt Sweet as he left.
Tom rolled over in bed and turned over the card in his hands. Seeing it made him wanted to spend his money.
He was still wearing his camo jacket and pants, so he didn't have to do much to get ready, and just freshened up his face.
He made his way to the store, and the first thing he looked at was the books, since he wanted something to read. Books on nanotech were a bit too specialized to be in the small selection here, but there were multiple copies of a book on Electrical Engineering. "Maybe it's part of a class or training here." he thought, "Interesting enough that I'll have a look through.", and picked out one copy.
He just looked at the tablets and DVD players. With his money, things like those were now within his reach.
He also picked out some chips and a caffeinated soda. Payment went completely smoothly, just as he expected. He went back to his room and started eating his breakfast.
Tom had plenty of time before Ensign Chapman would be here for the tour. "I know I've heard the name Ensign Chapman before. Wait a second, the guy at the mess hall. He said his named was Josh Chapman. Is he ... wanting to spend more time with me? ... or is he just a nice guy? ... or is it a coincidence in name?"
Tom finished up his breakfast. "Guess I'll just have to wait and see. Plenty of time." and started looking at his book. He turned the card over in his hand a couple times. "Or should I do something else?"
Very fascinating chapter.
I think he should explore the ship a bit more to find more things that could interest him, like storage rooms where he look for gear and hidden rooms where he could find a few more clues about his suit.
But he should watch out that he doesn’t miss the tour or is found in forbidden places, that could lead to trouble.
Eager for the next update.