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Cassie Granger

Bad Day at the Office

“Bad Day at the Office”

Morrison & Granger


Cass rolled off Challenger’s transporter platform, CUUs* frozen stiff, kit almost welded to them, her legs and arms numb, hair and face crusted in ice, and head throbbing.


“You two look like you had a fun leave. Do I need to call the medics?” TR chief’s comment - and his grin - were not appreciated.


“Yeah, that’d be a good idea,” she said, speech slurred and teeth chattering uncontrollably. “You okay,” she asked Morrison.


“W..what? I think so. I need to warm up.” He shivered like he had never before. Even his trip a few years ago to the moon homeworld of Andor did not approach this temperature. “I may have some cuts and bruises.” He placed his hand on her shoulder. “You?”


“I’m good.” Her teeth continued to chatter, “Or maybe not. Thanks,” she said, pulling the transporter chief’s offered thermal emergency blanket tight around her shoulders as she rocked to get the circulation back in her extremities. “I hope to hell the contents of that box are worth all this.”


Surrounded by a nasty nest of hostiles, their only chance of escape was a jump into the mountain stream that thundered under the head in Morrison’s family cabin. But everything comes with a trade-off, and this trade-off just might be a euphoric trip into hypothermia.


Pure water on earth freezes, or solidifies, at 0°C (32° F). Add a few impurities and you have a lower freezing temperature. Take that impure water with the lower freezing point and force it into a culvert rushing downhill and the freezing point is even lower... say -2°C (28°F) give or take.


In simple terms,you take pure water, you add something to it, and what you’re looking at isn’t frozen but it may as well be because it’s a hell of a lot colder than 0°. Arctic waters on earth averaged about 2°C (meaning it’s probably a lot colder than that). Take a dunk in full survival gear you might survive 30 minutes. If you’re lucky. Slip into that same water with basic CUUs or recon utilities and you’re as good as flash-frozen fish food in five... ten max.


Hey, it could have been worse. They could be on Delta Vega or Rura Penthe.


But they weren’t, they were on earth in the Canadian Rockies in July, which should have been relatively warm - relative for the Canadian Rockies, that is. The stream they were about to jump into - the one they decided was their best hope of escaping the heavily-armed hostiles that surrounded the cabin - just might have been heated by the sun-warmed boulders? Or underground hot springs? Just... maybe? If so, the water might be relatively warm? And they just might survive long enough to get to safety?


Maybe they should have taken a temperature reading?


Yeah, a temperature reading would have been a good idea. The stream was underground, not exposed to surface-heated rocks, and hot springs were not exactly common in this particular area, so, yeah, it could be one hellaciously cold stream, at best a few degrees above freezing, but most likely a few degrees below. Then there was that raging freak blizzard they’d face when and if they managed to pull themselves out.


It sure was beginning to look like a quick trip into hypothermia, but hesitation didn’t work in a life and death situation, and this was definitely a life and death situation, so they jumped.


Fresh uniforms and a few cups of coffee later Cass and Hal sat in the crew lounge, trying to piece together what exactly had happened, what the implications were, and what, if any, the implications were for Challenger.


[TBC in game.]


*CUU - Combat Utility Uniform

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