Samantha is always thinking twenty steps ahead of everyone else. Case in point is the new lab assistant for Rupert and Rosalind, Feryl. She’s a freshman who just happened to move into Samantha’s old dorm, and came to Samantha’s attention due to her relentless pursuit of Vince.
Samantha and the rest of us will be gone to Mars for three years, so Samantha had to staff the lab with those she trusted to keep the place running in her absence. The department chair Prof. Allele is useless, and while Rupert and Rosalind are brilliant researchers they have zero management skills. Vince has proven himself trustworthy, but he needed help. Enter Feryl.


For all the details Samantha came up with while planning the Mars mission (And remember, she spent a lifetime doing that, and time-traveller Maria brought the results back to the present day), she didn’t indicate who the Commander would be. Now we know. It’s her.
She had called a meeting to discuss that very thing, and intended to convince everyone to vote for Luis. However, there was a crisis at the lab that required her attention, which put her in rush hour traffic. That delayed her for another 90 minutes. By the time she finally arrived at the house the vote had already taken place. (Luis was voted second in command.)


Samantha has always been bothered by the state of affairs between Remora and her family; she can’t help feeling responsible for the events leading to Remora becoming an outcast when she fell in love with Thomas. That all happened after Remora came to live with Samantha, although to be fair, Remora was intentionally sent by the merfolk to study human culture.


Saturday was the Dorm Talent Show, an event cooked up by Patina. Year by year she’s proving to be an able replacement for Samantha as resident advisor. (Pam…well, if you like drama…)
Speaking of which, the talent show delivered that by the truckload. Pam’s agenda was to create a situation where Pam was *expected* to transform into a cat, and then actually do so in a way that everyone, including the magician, thought was all a trick. She would therefore satisfy her mother’s demand that she not arouse suspicion.


Feryl turns out to have an interesting background: she was raised by her father who was a traveling stage magician. During summers she would accompany him from town to town, acting as his assistant and learning the craft. In addition to various tricks and gags, she also studied stagecraft and general theatrical skills.


Samantha is looking ahead to being away from the lab for three years, and one of those tasks is ensuring that there’ll still be a lab when she gets back. That requires people in charge that she trusts to maintain order.
Unfortunately, Rupert and Rosalind, for all their brilliance, don’t meet that criteria. They’ve shown to exercise poor judgment in the past, and now they have a full plate of responsibilities at home. Worse, Department Chair Prof. Allele is totally useless.


I traveled back to Havens in order to receive an update to the operating system of my mascot costume. It’s yet another part of the process of synching me with the tech running the Mars mission. I could’ve stayed out west to receive the data, but the folks in charge of the mission are highly security-conscious. I would have to download the update directly from Samantha’s laptop at her home.


After Pam (as the cat Palmtop) was discovered by Vince and Feryl, she made the most of it by acting affectionate. Vince knew immediately what she was up to, but he had to play along. Pam then began investigating Feryl’s purse.
Meanwhile, Samantha was in the lab when she got a call from Feryl’s phone. (Samantha’s been on Feryl’s contact list since her initial transformation.) During the date Feryl had gotten a call, and then put it back in her purse without turning it off. Pam’s tail brushed against the screen and accidentally activated FaceTime.


Pam has been vociferously insisting that she had zero feelings for the former mouse Vince, probably in effort to convince herself more than anyone else. That’s a hazardous strategy in the Game of Love, and Pam ended up with a losing hand.
Feryl gave Pam every opportunity to step up and declare her feelings, but when Pam refused to do so Vince and Feryl left to see “Rogue One.” That was the start of the their relationship.


With the launch now a year away, the support staff of the Mars mission has been working feverishly to meet the deadline. The pressure’s been intense, as they’ve been launching construction crews into space at a rate previously unseen in manned exploration. They’ve successfully completed the now-operational ship, and they deserved a break.