08/23/22 Snippet, TOUR OF DUTY.


February 22

The answer could have been worse, I guess. Most of the crew compartments are full of bones. Bones, and dust. This entire part of the ship had its self-repair functions disconnected from the main system. Our best guess is that the bodies rotted before the air and water were evacuated, and the solid particulates left were never collected. There’s dust everywhere at this point; I almost think I can feel it crunch when I step on the floor. I try my best not to step on the floor.

Although today’s the last day that can be an option. They’re going to turn the gravity back on. I heard it from Dan, who heard it from Technician Weathers: “She said that the dust is kind of a problem now,” he said as we lay in our bunk. “Whenever we stir it up, it just suspends itself there. Getting gravity back will make decontam easier.”

“Good,” I replied lazily. “It sucks right now. Why did Weathers tell you personally? Or were you just in the room when it happened?”

“Just in the room. Me and Janusz, we’ve got a new job: watching Aldini. Along with two of the senior crew.”

“Really?” I turned on my side to look at him. “Shouldn’t he be doped to the gills?”

“Ha! That’s what I said, but no. The sedatives we got don’t work too well with his metabolism, or something. It’s either we induce a coma, or post guards. Guards are less likely to mess up his head more. Besides, he’s not doing anything. When I saw him today, Aldini was staring at the bulkhead and humming. I think they’re mostly worried he might hurt himself.”