Friday, January 22, 2016

Nano-Fic: A Gentleman's Duty (8)

In the airlock, The Giru Ruku Mat, and the Sloak Sagkal performed the final checks on their vacuum suits.  Both were wearing the bulky, one-size-fits-all soft suits as opposed to form fitting mechanical pressure skinsuits.  Sagkal, whose skin was covered with slab-like plates of metal and mineral deposits, simply couldn’t wear a form fitting garment.  Ruku Mat also could not fit into her skinsuit, but for a different reason.  Just prior to the suiting up process, Ruku drank nearly thirty liters of water.  With swollen belly, thighs, bust and buttocks, Ruku could only fit into the loose pressure suit.
“Doin’ alright?” Sagkal’s voice was loud as ever, but now slightly metallic and distorted by the speakers in Ruku Mat’s helmet. She turned the volume on his channel down.
“Feel sloshy.  Not used to being full….”
“Camel genes in you, girl. Ready to go for a walk?”
“That’s the spirit!”
Joking aside, Sagkal had thoroughly check both space walkers’ suits and was confident that both were ready, even if Ruku was not.  He keyed the electronic combilock and began to turn the manual wheel on the exterior hatch.
The Gentleman Scoundrel was not designed for EVA operations except in extreme circumstances, which admittedly, these were. The only hatch to the outside was the the airlock that serviced the missing shuttle, which opened into the reception bay on the first-class deck.  Once through the lock, Sagkal and Ruku stood in the shallow cradle of the shuttle dock.  Both had full face shields down to protect their vision form the blazing rays of the pimary.  Nonetheless, if it weren’t for NegMat’s property of repelling the deadly particles being blasted out by the sun, both would have already been dead.  Sagkal positioned himself protectively between Ruku Mat and that vast light.  The young woman seemed transfixed, frozen in place.
“...It’s so bright.”
Sagkal took her by the shoulders. “Mat!  I need you to keep it together.”
Ruku Mat blinked several times.  Sagkal noticed for the first time she had two pairs of eyelids.
“What?  No, no - I’m fine.  With the face shield down, it looks like home.
“Huh.”  Sagkal grinned, showing quartz teeth.  “I guess it never occured to me you actually had a comfort zone. Not too hot?”
“It’s only fifty-two*.”
“...Okay, then.  Let’s get to it.”

*That's about a hundred and twenty-five Farenheight, for us ugly Americans.

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