Chapter 10 – My Squad Atricious (page 7 of 10)

“Move him to the transfer bay,” I commanded, as if I was the captain.

Melo unbuckled himself from his one-point harness, hurried over to Slackman and stuffed him in to the pneumatic tube labeled ‘transfer bay’. He slid down the clear, plasticine screen and hit ‘send’. With a whoosh, Slackman was there.

“Thank God congressenate-approved funding for our PneuManIc tubes during emergency session,” I pointed out, as my sponsorship agreement with the publicity directors of the congressenate had mandated as a condition of my most recent explosion in funding requirements, “If they hadn’t, Burggl would surely perish.”

But Burggl wasn’t out of the woods yet.

I looked out the window and reminisced about the nature of the universe and the purpose of all of us within it. It wasn’t a very abstract series of thoughts, really, since the definitive works on it had been published in a five-page essay issued by the church just a few years earlier. Still, it had me thinking about my place and responsibilities, especially when it came to my mission and the lives of my fellow squadreers.

“Tek!” barked Slackman across the omnicom, ruining my moment of reflection. “The transfer bay isn’t equipped to dock with medilife ships.”

Even in the waning minutes of his admittedly abridged life, that Burggl was a serious buzz-kill.

But he was right. With all the primary funding dedicated to parquet flooring and stained glass observation decks, the pennies needed to update our docking systems had been overlooked. They had been upgraded to accommodate warships from the most distant corners of the universe, but not medilife craft. That’s just how such secondary matters are dealt with.

Little N was sweating nervously like a whore in fat camp, and I couldn’t blame him for it, even though I did. “It’s not hot in here, N, don’t you go sweating on us now.”

It was his own big brother who lay dying in the transfer bay, one arm numb and a heart the size of a breadbasket ready to blow, but he needed to stay strong. When a life is on the line there is no one you can blame for it, which is fortunate, since if there was, it probably would have been me.

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