Chapter 10 – My Squad Atricious (page 10 of 10)

It was almost as if I was supposed to understand all of these things in their entirety. The difference between one atmosphere of pressure compared to zero atmospheres is only a sum total of one atmosphere, after all, and a number like one is rarely a matter of any serious consequence. I’d seen soldiers go from one atmosphere to ten atmospheres with scant few problems. Frankly, I was a bit surprised at the outcome.

The roar from the communicator was starting to get on my nerves, so I switched it off. “I’m sorry,” I said, uncommonly apologizing. “It’s unfortunate that the crew of the medivessel didn’t have all 159 porting configurations available and I sincerely regret that they let our beloved compatriot expire unduly.”

The tearing eyes around me were agape as if I’d said something shocking. Cappy offered, “You killed him, Tek. They didn’t do anything.”

“You want more of an apology?” I asked. “Fine, I’m sorry Burggl didn’t hold his breath.”

Strangely my captain wanted to split hairs, but I knew better. “Come on, Cappy, we all know regulations plainly state that once an airlock is opened to an adjacent craft, the cargo and passengers alike are in the trust of the receiving craft.”

I felt an air of distaste by my citation of regulations, and I can’t blame them, rules are no fun, especially when it proves that I did no wrong in the face of the facts of the matter. Still, my crew remained the only one under federation command to never lose a man aboard, though hundreds had been lost in technicalities such as these.

Almost everyone around was ready to protest, some reaching for weapons of singular destruction, so I excused myself to my penthouse for a time of peace to unwind from this stressful situation.

My crew could not understand how upset I was about this situation. Nobody wants to end up in a situation like this, not even me. All the training and preparation in the academy can’t prepare you to cope with being accused of killing a crewmate when it’s really the fault of the adjacent medical craft, and I was wearing that regret like a scarlet letter of ignominy.

I set my grand double-doors to “do not disturb”, put on my headphones blasting the sweet sounds of hiphopketjazzabration and set my head down on my quadrupiremsleeperator for a few days of uninterrupted dreaming remembrance.

Whatever, man, to hell with those guys. If they can’t see the forest for the me, that’s their problem. I’ve got pre-learned lessons to relearn and past experiences to relive once again as if for the very first time.

The Quadrupremsleeperator in action
Image appeared originally through the User-SUbmitted gallery of Tek Jansen.

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