Monday, June 22, 2009

2nd Assignment

We were trained for these situations. We were told during training that one day there could be an accident, that we could be lost forever in space. We were trained to stay calm and meditate so we would not hyperventilate in our helmets before the crew could plan a rescue mission.

Getting ready for our first few outings we would joke about it. “Tod just wanted to thank you for your cot with the window, being best buds and all.” “You better hall your shit out of my space bugboy.” Then out of the hatch one of us would go. Sometimes there was no time for a quick rebuttal and you would do your best to show them the finger with those overly thick space gloves.

Being the only girl I got a lot of “hey baby it may be your last chance”. At which point I would pull out my laser cutter and smile. I don’t get a lot of those lines anymore but now that I am out here floating and my rigger has blown I think of them and those clowns. As the only girl I had to be tough, but now drifting, I am left here to ponder if I was perhaps too tough. Did they check my rigger, the cord? It was routine procedure but we have been busy with the pod getting older and needing more work so that a lot of routine procedure was neglected.

There was the time I snapped a picture of Tom nude in the cleaning pod and forwarded it to the crew. It was suppose to be just a simple forward to ourselves but somehow it was sent to Earth space station as well. That did not go well. No, not well at all.

Then there was Dem. Dem was sending me messages anonymously for weeks till finally I was able to trace some of the content back to something I had read in his files about his love for bugs. Enraged I forwarded all his message to the crew, destroyed his cover and nicknamed him bugboy which stuck.

Before finding him out though, I had gotten into a Tiff with Nick. I had been so sure it was Nick.

The confined space, the monotony, the incessant sound of the air system, and the emails were beyond anything training could have prepared me for.

When we were on computer maintenance duty I accused him. He denied it. “Come on” I hissed “only someone as dumb and corny as you could write stuff like that.” He grabbed me and pushed me against the console. I clawed aimlessly because his arms were too long. That night, I stole Nick’s picture of his wife and through down the hatch during a regular garbage dump. That was a golden rule here. Never touch anyone stuff. It was there life.

Through my closed eyes I could imagine the picture frame floating by with his wife accusing eyes staring at me.

Alone floating in space, I tell myself not to cry but I know my face is wet, when suddenly and very gently, I feel a hand on my shoulder.

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