13 March 2009

Another Day, Part 1

Of course it was Greggo that found her. Even though he missed the day Emily got stuck outside thanks to his pressure suit failing the checkout, he put in more vacuum time than anyone else on the E&PP gang. And he was harder on his gear than any ten other guys -- but he got results.

Still, it was the kind of thing nobody expects: a dead body on the hull. There's no procedure for it.

Rumor spread across the Lupine at the usual speed. It took longer to reach me because I was fretting over our upcoming Triennial Inspection, not at all fun despite being a little less than a make or break matter (not to mention both annual and random) than they were prior to the Arrangement. These days, a retired Space Force engineering officer comes about and spends a week going over the 'Drive, control systems and related widgetry, while his equally-retired counterparts check out Power and Environment & Physical Plant; at the conclusion of it, we get a checklist and whatever's not up to spec must be put right. In the bad old days, right after privatization, there would have been fines and Official Reprimands and worse for any deviation; and they tell me it was even rougher when Space Force ran the whole shootin' match. Still, I had checklists of my own, a long list of we'll-clean-it-up-laters to put right and a deadline thirty days earlier than I had thought. So I was just the least busy and fixing to become more so.

News of the appalling find derailed that train of thought for me but as the Chief pointed out, it was not Engineering's problem. This, as it turned out, was wishful thinking; but neither of us knew it at the time.