Before the PPDC approved working with NASA they requested two things. A complete inspection of the jaegers and an interview with the pilots. One of those things went much more smoothly than the other.
They sent the new Marshal Pentecost to inspect the operations, along with Tendo Choi, a member of his shatterdome, who was familiar with the technological standards of the PPDC. After the equipment inspection was complete the pilots to be were brought into a meeting room along with Annie, Mitch and Teddy.
“I'm sure by now you are all familiar with the basic processes you will be going through,” said Pentecost. “But I would like to start by asking if anyone has any questions.”
Watney opened his mouth before he knew what he was doing.
“Do ghosts have a half life?” he asked. “And if they don't, why are there no dinosaur ghosts?”
Annie hid her face in her hands. This was it. They would have the deal rescinded before they took down a single kaiju. What she couldn't know was that this was a man who dealt with Newton Geiszler on a regular basis. It had given him the patience of a, well, of a man who could put up with Newton Geiszler. This however, was a somewhat new one. Newt usually didn't do this sort of stuff on purpose. He gave Watney a look. Watney pointedly ignored it.
“Dinosaurs were never real,” said Teddy, taking sympathy on the man. He'd had to answer similar questions from Watney far too often. “They are an extremely involved CIA hoax.”
Watney grinned and nodded, satisfied with the answer. To Annie's further surprise Vogel was next.
“If we can tell you how fast our jaeger is going,” he said. “Do we have to know where it is?”
Tendo left out a laugh at this, which he unsuccessfully tried to turn into a cough.
“Mr Choi, would you care to answer that question?” asked Pentecost.
“That's the real reason we have two pilots,” was Tendo's answer. “One of you can focus on position, the other can address the speed.”
Lewis stepped in when Martinez opened his mouth.
“Will we have a permanent base, or will we move around?” she asked. And with that they were back on track.
Things went a little better until they heard the voice for the jaeger AIs. Watney declared he was a potato, Johanssen shouted that the cake was a lie and Lewis told them to behave before she donated their organs to the Aperture Science Self-Esteem Fund for Girls.
Annie started to mentally draft a letter of resignation to calm her nerves. Mitch came over and put a hand on her shoulder.
“We'll get through this,” he told her. “We do what we must because we can.”