Towards the end of Bazzer and Luna’s watch, Dukk and Marr were at the table having some food.
Luna bounced into the crew mess. She was clearly singing along to a tune only she could hear.
On seeing Dukk and Marr, she swiped her wrist to mute the music. She then bounced into the seat at the head of the table.
Dukk and Marr looked up.
“Hey you two, what’s going on?” Luna asked cheerfully.
Marr rolled her eyes as she pointed to the food tray before her.
“Cool, so Dukk, earlier today I asked you what a DMD bounce was. You said that was a conversation for after my first traverse. That brings us to now. So?”
Dukk laughed looking over at Marr.
“Marr, do you have this?”.
“You might need to help me fill in some gaps.”
Luna smiled as she turned her head from Dukk to Marr, and back.
“The DMD bounce is simply a traverse but where the starting place and ending place is the same. It happens very fast. Was one to observe it from a safe distance, nothing would appear to change,” Marr offered to Luna in starting the explanation.
“What do you mean by very fast?” Luna asked.
“A blink of an eye.”
“Cool. And, what do you mean by safe distance?”
“Generally beyond one kilometre, however it does depend on the size of the rig and DMD.”
“What happens inside that distance?”
“You would be bounced too.”
“But if nothing changes, what is the big deal?”
“Nothing appears to change. But for those within the bounce, it is no different than a normal traverse.”
“And if one was juiced up, the experience of coming out would be the same as it was after this morning’s traverse?”
“So what is the problem?”
“This is where my knowledge gets fuzzy. Dukk, you might need to take it from here?” Marr said.
“Sure, Marr. Luna, the key is in what you said. Yes, being juiced up helps with recovery. But the bounce usually happens without warning. You wouldn’t be juiced up.”
“Oh. And what happens then?”
“You basically go into cardiac arrest.”
“Oh. That doesn’t sound good.”
“No it isn’t. If you don’t act fast or get help, you will die.”
“Ok, so let’s not be letting it happen any time soon.”
“Well, it isn’t as easy as that. Sure, we can manage the DMD and not let it get impatient. But at times we need to invoke a bounce ourselves.”
“Why in the world would we do that?”
“Pirates,” Added Marr.
“Pirates?” Luna asked.
“Yes, we use it to take out any uninvited guests that may try to drop in,” answered Dukk.
“Wait! Why would pirates ‘drop in’? Wouldn’t they simply point guns at us and force us to hand over our load?”
“Well, it isn’t that simple. They do typically have some sort of weapons. But weapons out here aren’t very precise. Not like a sniper rifle, for example. Rail guns just make a big mess and that makes it harder to retrieve loot if there is anything left. CDLs are a little more accurate but they require a lot of power and that makes them expensive to run and maintain. Missiles are accurate, but generally don’t leave anything behind. Besides, the electromagnetic wave shields we use to help prevent being hit by projectiles also do a pretty good job of deflecting any weapons.”
“So how do pirates pose a threat?”
“Well, they come up behind us, in our wake and then launch themselves at the back of the rig. In the wake they are very difficult to detect. The pirates then grapple on and crawl along the rig to the nearest hatch or door.”
“And we only know they are here when they try to secure a grapple hook?”
“Exactly. Once they are hooked on, it is just a matter of time before they are inside.”
“And that is why we intentionally cause a bounce? To induce a cardiac arrest and stop them in their tracks?”
“Yep. Once on board we have little means to resist them. They can be ruthless and that isn’t a situation any of us want to bring upon ourselves.”
“But if they go into cardiac arrest, so do we.”
“Exactly. It is one of the reasons we always need someone on watch and at a console. The system will detect pirates dropping on us, but we won’t have much time. So, when the alarm sounds those on watch must do their best to drop into a g-seat and attach the g-juice feed. The system will detect the attachment and then run the feed and induce the bounce.”
“What happens if no one attaches the g-juice?”
“The system will just bounce anyway.”
“Shit! How come I am only learning this now?”
“In fairness, Luna, we did talk about some of this. Remember we spoke about bounce training and the bounce test?” Marr added.
“Yes, now I recall. But it didn’t make sense at the time. I had no context. I do now.”
“Have you been training already, Marr?” Dukk asked.
“Yes, but as Luna mentioned, it wasn’t easy without context.”
“Remind me of what is involved in bounce training and the test?” Luna asked.
“Dukk?” Marr asked.
“The training is to improve your reaction to the bounce and ability to self administer an EVM pack.”
“A cocktail to help you recover from the arrest. To use it, you must build an automated response. You need to grab the pack and jam it into your med feed whilst going into arrest.”
“And the test?”
“The test is where you are basically put into cardiac arrest and you must use the EVM pack yourself to help you get out of the arrest. Of course, during the test you’ll have a medic monitoring you to bring you back if you fail. Which most do on the first few attempts.”
“Is the EVM pack the same as the traverse juice?”
“No. The juice is designed to basically induce a very short coma and then bring you out immediately. The cocktail is measured to the exact needs of your body at the time of the traverse. The EVM is not. The EVM pack is to help you bring things back under control in the face of a cardiac arrest.”
“Right, so when do we start training?” Luna asked.
“Immediately, during your downtime using a dummy EVM pack. I’ll show you where they are kept,” Dukk answered.
“And the test?”
“When you feel you are ready. But, I’d suggest not until you’ve got the hang of coming out of the traverse. One thing at a time.”
“Cool,” concluded Luna as she sat back in the seat.
“Great. Time to get ready for watch. You finished with that?” Dukk concluded pointing at Marr’s empty food tray.
“Yep. Thank you. See you in twenty,” Marr replied as she got up and headed towards her cabin.
(to be continued...in the next chapter)
[Rule of Twelve, Double Take, Chapter 13 - In Between (Passage 5 of 5)]
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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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