Logbook #8


Le chapitre 8

Xu held tight on the gash that ran roughly across Valentina’s thigh. Jagged metal from a developmental excavator had sliced into her skin and her blood was almost spurting out. Given the absence of air pressure on the lunar surface then any break in a person’s protective covering could quickly be fatal. Jean skipped up with an inflatable cast and slide it up Valentina’s leg and overtop both the wound and Xu’s hand. Xu pulled the tab to automatically release the air into the cast while simultaneously pulling her hand off. She saw the cast fill and stiffen. She straightened then put one of Valentina’s arms over her shoulder while Jean took the other and the three of them hobbled across the short distance to the Habitat’s airlock.

Health and safety were Xu’s domain. Her natural affinity and compassion together with a sharp mind made her a natural fit. She thought of the four colonists and how they were an interesting group as they all had remarkable vitality as well as few genetic precursors. Not only did this mean that they should age with few or no diseases but also she didn’t expect flus or viruses to invade their domain. Still she had read about how some astronauts in the space station had developed colds during a flight so she was prepared. With their reliance upon doctors living upon Earth and the absence of diagnostic equipment and pharmacies, she knew that simple medical inconveniences on Earth might turn into fatalities on the Moon so she hoped to never need use her skills.

Valentina’s cut was Xu’s first real emergency and it had evolved quickly. Valentina and Jean had been trialing adaptations to a robot but when Valentina stepped in for a closer inspection, she had misjudged the distance and been struck by a moving part. Xu, sitting in the Habitat module, had heard the commotion over the intercom and had suited-up, grabbed the portable emergency kit and in a few strong bounds was upon the scene. She hurriedly looked about; at the robotic excavator standing still, at the small hole in the ground by the regolith and at the odd red ground colour by Valentina. The blood on the ground was probably the only colour she had seen on the Moon’s surface since they landed. It seemed to be clumping in the regolith. Little showed on the surface and its capillary action created an odd slight depression at its edges. She couldn’t tell how much blood Valentina had lost but from looking at her pale, constrained face, Xu knew that it was significant. She told Desai, who was still in the Habitat module, to tap into Valentina’s biometric data and relay it to her own screen. Xu saw the very low blood pressure and the heart rate slowing. In a swirl of dust, she got Valentina seated on the ground and put her hand tightly over the wound to sense the depth of the cut. She had Jean pull the inflatable cast from the kit and ready it over Valentina’s foot. Absently, she thought of how her practise made her actions near automatic so she felt no undue alarm as she brought things back into order.

At the Habitat, Jean left them in the airlock and returned to the excavator to clean up the field site. While the outer part of the airlock was small, it could in an emergency, handle four suited people. Valentina rested up against the wall while Xu waited for the dust and dirt to clear and the air to fill the cavity. When safe, she quickly doffed her suit and stored it. She help Valentina out of her’s; all except the lower half that was fixed by the air cast. She gently assisted Valentina into the vestibule while Desai prepared for her on the other side. With a swoosh, one door slid closed and the interior one opened and Valentina fell into Desai’s arms. Xu waited her turn while watching as Desai carried Valentina to their infirmary.

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