* * *
Jason Norrington stuck the coffee pouch back on the velcro-patch near his workstation and glanced out a window. He blinked and pushed himself closer to the window, trying not to disrupt his experiment. He watched for a little while, then reached for his radio headset. "Mikhail, there's a MIG outside the space-station."
"Ah, you just noticed?" Mikhail sounded amused. "I am in the Kvant-2 module and have been watching him and his shuttle-friend for the past hour. If you come back here, you will get a good look at them."
"Uh-huh." Jason craned his neck as a grey space shuttle went past his window, seemingly in hot pursuit of the MIG. "That's not an American shuttle."
"You can only see his belly where you are, yes? Be pleased." An edge of warning entered Mikhail's voice.
The MIG flew by again, and Jason caught sight of a sigil on its wings. "That symbol...?"
"-Is purple, yes."
Jason gulped and reached for his coffee packet. "Huh."
"We are hopeful they are merely playing. It could go quite badly for us if they are not-" The Russian broke off, then made a surprised sound. "The jet has transformed."
Jason craned his neck. He could just make out the robot now, the shuttle sliding into the space behind him.
"-And now the shuttle has as well. They are-"
Jason could hear Mikhail's blink. "You know," he said sardonically. "Back home, we get the hose if people start doing that on our front lawn."