I'm hard at work on the New Standalone Sam book. Here is a small snippet giving you a little glimpse inside.
We all needed to be bigger to fly the ships. The first thing we had to learn was how to properly wear a space suit. Each piece of the suit served a specific purpose. Leave one off, even by accident, and there could be a tragedy. Anthony was one such loss. Underneath the suit, each person was supposed to wear three specific layers of jumpsuit. A basic gauze-like body suit that allowed the body to breathe and keep you cool. The second layer was similar to a sensor suit that a VR participant might wear, it read your bodies responses to heat, cold, and other external stimuli. The third layer was a cross between nomex and neoprene. This layer protected from fire and cold. The layers needed to be worn in the exact order. Over them was the newest state-of-the-art space suit. These were made from a new lightweight metallic compound that had been discovered in the asteroid belt. Not found on Earth, Rigveda, was easily mined and the UN used it to build practically everything. Putting on a suit in regular gravity was no heavier than that of a old fashioned rubber diving suit. As one complete unit the suit kept you at an even temperature at all times. One of the things that had been stressed to all of us was to follow procedure when putting on all the layers. Anthony taught us all to remember that lesson.
‘Attention. Attention. This is not a drill! This is not a drill!’
‘There is a pressure leak on Level Three. There is a pressure leak on Level Three.’
At the first words over the speaker we all sprang into action as we had drilled for years. Counting in my head, I put the layers on in numerical order. All of our hard suits were racked in power ports along the walls. As we climbed into the suits we could see and hear the leak as it became a torrent. With a loud whistling and roar the bulkhead gave way sucking us all into space. Using our training we began linking our suits together making chains using the built in secure cables on our belts. As we linked up I looked over at Anthony to check his cable connection. I could see sweat beading up on his face, his faceplate fogging up. I pulled myself along the cable and grabbed hold of his arm. I put my helmet next to his to better communicate.
“Anthony! Are you OK?” His eyes were wide and his face was growing red. He shook his head at me and tried to speak. For some reason his communication system was not functioning. I checked his suit, front and back as quick as I could. Not seeing anything wrong, I pulled out a communication line and directly connected to his suit.
“Anthony can you hear me now?” Silence. There was a faint scratching noise and lots of static. I looked up at my brother. His eyes were now very wide almost wild. His face was bright red and he was starting to gasp as if he was out of breath. I checked his readouts. Everything appeared to be normal with his suit. He had plenty of air. His body started to shake uncontrollably as he started to convulse. Several of the others were now helping as we tried to hold him still. I was looking into his wide eyes when they grew pale as the ‘light’ went out of them. My brother was dead. We floated in space holding the body of our brother and teammate for two hours. The medico’s that examined Anthony concluded that his death was a tragic accident brought on by the haste of the emergency. Anthony had not followed the set procedure for putting on this suit. He had put the under-layers on wrong. He must have gotten confused and put the sensor suit on first, followed by the cool suit. The cool suit registered as cold air for the sensor suit. The sensors kept increasing the internal temperature inside the suit to compensate. Anthony died of heat prostration in the icy depths of space.
Anthony’s death gave all of us perspective and we all vowed to do better and to learn everything that the Program wanted to teach us. From that point on, our team for would strive to be the best in honor of our brother Anthony 0257. Our challenges only got harder and in time we lost more of our brothers to accidents.