Challenge #02389-F199: Be PreparedsteemCreated with Sketch.

in fiction •  2 months ago 


There is always an outsider. One that, although they accepted the risks of space travel, are extremely hesitant to accept any OTHER risks. -- Anon Guest

The Humans have a very apt saying: There's always one. In this case, there's always one traveller who takes certain aspects of travel way too casually... and others way too seriously.

The livesuit was one of the best ones on the market. In-suit cleansing, bio-attachments, and necessary padding in silky comfort. The manufacturers bragged that a Human could live inside of one for all of their adult life, and looking at Human Jass within it? One could begin to believe it.

They were never seen outside of their livesuit. Not in the halls of the Tantalus, not in their home-away-from-home at Crossroads station. If they stepped outside of its protective shell to sleep in their quarters, nobody saw, since Human Jass chose not to share their space with a significant other.

Though they were flippant about travelling through space, they were the furthest they could get from flippant about everything else in it. Every creature could carry dangerous vectors. Every rock had to be inspected for venomous wildlife within. Every new atmosphere was never trusted, no matter how breathable the scanners said it was.

Every unfamiliar food could contain untraceable toxins, most often expressed as 'spores' by Human Jass. Every unfamiliar animal could "have rabies for all we know," even though rabies had long since been eradicated in every Terran colony for at least two hundred Standard Years. They even kept a strict regimen of tried and tested medicines, which they stocked their livesuit with, and never deviated from that plan.

It was only once they returned to their homeworld to retire that their crew saw Human Jass' naked face for the first time. They all watched in stunned amazement as their Ship's Human emerged from most of their livesuit.

"You do not fear this environment?" asked Thrakk.

"Of course not, it's home." Human Jass smiled. "I grew up with this biota. I'm immune. You guys... might wanna keep in your livesuits. Just saying." They excused themselves to disengage the plumbing and change into actual clothing, rather than adjusted Skins and their livesuit.

Seeing them in a dress was just as shocking as seeing them remove their helmet. "You are able to live without suit?"

Human Jass laughed. "Yes. I can do that. I just... don't trust any other environments like I trust this one. It's a scary, scary world out there. Anything could get you."

It was true, and though anything could have got Human Jass, nothing had. Simply because they were ludicrously prepared to protect themselves from it - real or imaginary.

[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / outsiderzone]

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