We'd been practising for years, laughing at all the palaver of putting on the suits, synchronising breathing to maximise the oxygen in the back packs. They'd sent us all over the world so we'd be used to every terrain, thick snow, dusty deserts, steep inclines, you name it we'd been there. We used to laugh and wonder where they'd send us next. We did lots of laughing in those days.
"Breathe slowly and deeply".
I tried to do what Captain Buckley was telling me but it was difficult.
"Remember what you've been taught, it's the difference between life and death."
His patient words were calming me down and I felt my breathing regulating itself.
Last time I saw Captain Buckley was in the shallow grave I'd dug for him and my comrades. He was the last to succumb to the radiation sickness, unashamedly I cried, mourning my loss. Then I laughed hysterically in remembrance of my nickname "The Omega Man".
1 June 2015