According to the United Earth Space Force, Frank Devine owns two black-jumpers. And there is shit he can do about it. He would normally be expected to alternate them daily. When one is post wash and drying under the UV light over the toilet, the other he’d wear under his Surface-Mobility-Unit as he endlessly cleans the glass dome covering Pacman Station.
But he only got issued one.
Mars, can you believe it? I got stationed on Mars!
His words, exclaimed as if he were given a gift by the United Earth government on the day he graduated advance training and got his permanent duty assignment.
Then every day since, struggle. Especially for the ones in the black-jumpers like him. The workers, the ones with mops, and the brooms, and the window squeegees. But today is proving extra hard, especially because he wasn’t able to wash his jumpsuit last night. He was too tired. Visiting VIPs from Earth make the bosses push even harder in an already impossible situation. Things need to shine, got to show the suits things are going well.
Otherwise known as lying.
Frank has learned the hard way, making things shine on a planet covered in red dust is next to impossible.
Keeping a single uniform clean day in and day out is also.
Fuck, is how he addressed the problem waking and discovering the uniform from the previous day’s efforts was still rumpled-wet on the floor of his living unit.
I forgot, fucking shoot me, but he knows in space one can never forget, and survive.
Already his fuck up has given him two choices for his shift:
Wear the one he was never issued, or force his feet into the one that’s still wet and stinky with the funk his body expelled yesterday while wrapped in work.
And that’s really the only thing on Frank Devine’s mind, wishing he had never left Earth, or had a second uniform, as a small pebble burns through the Martian atmosphere and pops his SMU, ending all of his problems for good.