They entered the room and the TV flickered on. The TV automatically scanned the channels and settled on one showing the daily news. The news reporter was shown standing in front Kennedy Space Centre, the signboard lit up brilliantly behind her.
"In three days' time Reed Richards, one of the world's greatest minds, is going into space to perform revolutionary tests involving cosmic radiation. His mission is being sponsored by a one-time classmate and fellow physicist Victor von Doom, the CEO of Von Doom Industries. Doctor Richards and his team will be the first ever to perform such tests involving cosmic radiation, and yet no nerves are showing…"
Reed Richards and his close friend; Ben Grimm were sitting in Reed's loft preparing themselves for the launch in three days' time. With the TV now on mute, Ben got up and went to the kitchen to make himself something to eat, while Reed still sat on the couch planning out the itinerary on his laptop.
"Aren't you getting nervous yet, Reed?" Ben asked as he came back to sit on the couch next to Reed.
"Well, no. There's really nothing to be nervous about." Reed answered without looking away from his keyboard.
"Uh…yeah, there is. Other than the space launch, of course, there's going to be a giant wave of space radiation coming right for us! Doesn't that even faze you a bit?"
"Not if this will help me further my investigation of evolution on earth. Can you imagine if we figure out the answer to all the evolutionary questions we've ever had, and how we came to be the most dominant species on the planet…"
Ben rolled eyes, more at himself than Reed and then he stepped away for a moment. He pulled his cellphone out of his pocket and answered it, which stopped Reed in his train of thought.
"Hey, little cuz. What's that? On the news…yeah I'm going with…hey, this isn't a field trip, missy; you can't just…ok, let me ask him and I'll get back to you." Ben hung up and sighed with a smile.
"What was that about?" Reed asked, curious about the other half of the conversation he didn't hear.
"That was my little cousin. She wanted to know if I was going with on your trip."
"That much I deduced, but I heard she wanted you to ask me something."
"It's a bad idea Reed, but she asked if she could come along." Ben said while looking at everything other than Reed.
"You're right; it is a bad idea, Ben. This isn't space jockey hitchhiking; this is serious business and experimentation…" Reed fumed quickly and then calmed slightly so Ben could respond.
"She knows that Reed. She's studying biogenetics or something like that…that's why she's so interested to go with. But I'll call her back and tell her to forget it…" Ben nodded with a sigh. Reed instantly felt sorry. He didn't mean to offend Ben's family indirectly, but he knew that's how it must've sounded.
"Wait, Ben. Let me just see what she's doing at university and I'll get back to you in half an hour or so. What's her name so I can go check out her credentials?" Reed asked, which made Ben smile a little more.
"Her name's Amera, Amera Sigure. I have to go Reed; otherwise, the future missus is going to beat my chops. See you tomorrow."
"See you tomorrow, Ben. I'll call in a few minutes to give you my answer on your cousin coming along."
Ben headed to the main elevator and waved back at Reed. Reed got into the elevator that headed up to his lab.
"Herbie, do a search for me on an 'Amera Sigure' and all her current credentials." Reed spoke into the nothingness of the elevator.
"Will do Doctor Richards!" An automated computer voice responded enthusiastically. Reed arrived in his lab, and several results had already popped up on several floating projection screens. There were results for her university studies, her driving records and various other things that Herbie found.
"Bring up result five, please Herbie."
Herbie enlarged result five on the main floating projection screen, which had all her university enrolment details at Cambridge University along with all her majors and minors. Her ID photo popped up along with it; blue eyes, long straight blonde hair and a sweet smile. She didn't look anything like Ben except for her blue eyes, and Reed could only guess that she got her genetics from the other side of her family.
"Studying biogenetics, biological chemistry and bio-kinetics. Top of her class for three years running and set to graduate summa cum laude. Well ok, Herbie, please bring up result two."
Herbie enlarged the next result, which was a video of Amera receiving an award for advancement in science. Reed tilted his head as he thought his decision over.
"Herbie, call Ben and tell him to get his cousin on the next plane to Florida, and we need her measurements for her spacesuit. I'll convince Victor to write it off as a student enrichment program."