Dukk and Marr made their way back through the passenger seating area and down the flight of stairs to the accommodation level.
From the stair door they could hear Annee in the corridor.
“Joantyi you have the first cabin on the right. Larony the first cabin on the left. Bognath and Carltor, all I have left is a twin. Second cabin on the left. Please check your travel lockers are correct and then change into your g-suits. Then make your way back to the dining room. We’ll be starting the pre-departure briefing in 20-30 minutes. Kimince and Trence, the Captain needs your assistance at the load clearance door. Please follow me.”
Dukk and Marr continued down the stairs.
As they got near the mezzanine level they could hear Bazzer and Luna coming back through the starboard passenger airlock.
“Let’s run through the upper levels while Dukk and Marr get us loaded. This room has one of the sets of spare g-suites. The other spare set is in the transport pod bay on the upper level.”
“When do we suit up?”
“After we check the resupply is finished and close the valve panels. It is good practice to finish the sweaty ground work first. Then I like to have a quick shower before suiting up as it can be a good while before the suit is taken off again. Also, I find the first hit of g-juice is easier to handle in a fresh set of inners.”
“Why, what happens?”
“The cocktail is designed to suppress vomiting and bowel movements, and prevent heart failure or strokes during hard burn and also the traverse, but it isn’t perfect or free of side effects. The traverse is particularly ugly. Few manage to come through that for the first time, without saying hello to a sick bag. And most break into a sweat the moment the juice flow is turned off.”
“Oh,” said Luna as they arrived at the bottom of the stairs Dukk and Marr were about to leave.
“How’s the resupply progressing?” Dukk said, announcing their presence on the stairs.
“We’ll have the tanks full and pipes disconnected in about 15 minutes,” Bazzer replied.
“Excellent. We should have the RoboContainers in place by then. We’ll do the pre-departure circle up at that point. The stabilisers are with the load in the clearance area. Do you want to collect them now and get them installed?”
“Sound. We’ll follow you. Be there in five. No point in us hanging around as the observers open the clearance area doors.”
“I see what you now meant by your comment about Bazzer when we were talking to the observers,” Marr shared with Dukk as they made their way down the access stairs to the pad.
“Yes, he doesn’t mess about.”
“Is it really that bad?”
“It can be. Bazzer is also exaggerating a little. It largely comes down to fitness and preparation. Fitness won’t be an issue for you from what I gather. And, Mindfulness practices can help prepare the mind and this reduces the sweating and other involuntary body movements.”
“’Involuntary body movements’, how charming,” Marr added, cringing.
Dukk and Marr stopped at the bottom of the stairs and waited for Annee, Mentor and the observers to join them. They weren’t far behind.
“Thank you for your time once more,” Dukk said as the observers reached the pad floor.
The observers smiled back gleefully. Dukk forced a smile so he didn’t laugh. He had never quite managed to get over the colourful nature of the g-suits they preferred.
“What will we find in the clearance area, Captain?” Kimince asked.
“We have supplies, some components and the load we are carrying to Mayfield.”
“What do we need to do?”
“Firstly, I need you to open the clearance area doors as you did for the passenger pad door. Then I need you to follow me into the clearance area and verify the three RoboContainers. You will need to scan the security seals. You will be required to check them again on arrival in Mayfield to verify that the contents haven’t been tampered with. Once done, I’d like you to go over and lock the passenger pad door, then wait nearby until we have cleared this room. Once done, you can lock these doors too and come back on board.”
“That sounds straight forward, lead the way please.”
Dukk led the group across the pad to the clearance area door.
Once at the door, Kimince used the biometric scanner and then entered some codes into a keypad. Instantly the ceiling height, double doors started to slide open, exposing a large space.
Contained within the large room were five standard robotic crates and three robotic containers. Each of the latter being just over thirteen metres long, two and a half metres wide and four metres high.
(to be continued...)
[Rule of Twelve, Double Take, Chapter 9 - Loading (Passage 4 of 5)]
All Rights Reserved. Copyright © 2021 BJ Allen
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Chapter 1 - A routine descent
Chapter 2 - Perspective
Chapter 3 - Grounding
Chapter 4 - Cause and effect
Chapter 5 - The first meeting
Chapter 6 - Staying goodbye
Chapter 7- Instability
Chapter 8 - Orientation
Rule of Twelve, Double Take - Ch15 (Passage 5/5)
“Hi,” came Luna’s voice as she bounced into the suit locker.
Dukk turned around.
“Are you alright? You are all flushed?”
“Yes, I am fine. I was practicing some yoga in zero-G. I lost track of time. Quite challenging and not what I expected.” Luna replied.
“Yoga?” Marr mouthed silently at Luna from behind Dukk.
Luna smiled cheekily.
Marr held her hands up and looked away as if to say ‘I don't want to know’.
Dukk laughed. He’d been an apprentice too once. He knew what was on his mind the first time he was in zero-g. And, he could tell an intentional lie.
“Are you sure you want to try this now? I can go alone and you can get back to your ‘yoga’?” Dukk asked in gest emphasising the last word.
“Nope, I’m good. Let’s do this.”
Thirty five minutes later, Luna stood at the port outer doorway. She was in awe.
Dukk and Luna had completed the same process Bazzer and Marr had done earlier. Marr, with ...
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