had two crawlers and, in addition to the members of the archaeological team, forty techs from the science support crew. Anna had briefed the techs herself, all the while wondering which of them were part of Donne and Hidalgo's plan, which of them would try to steal artifacts. Out of them all she could put names to only a handful. As her crawler stopped in front of the cave site, Anna pulled herself out of her chair in the bulky EVA suit.
She wished they didn't have to wear them; the atmospheric analysis had revealed oxygen with some harmless miscellaneous components, but it had also showed low levels of carbon monoxide. The ship's doctor had explained that over perhaps twenty to twenty-five hours, this carbon monoxide would build up in the blood, preventing oxygen from binding to the hemoglobin as it should. The result would be death. Even so, breathers and jumpsuits were all the protection necessary. No hazards had been detected that would require a full EVA suit, and the temperature, with a daytime average of fifty degrees, was well within habitable limits. Unfortunately, this was standard first-contact protocol.
They had to wear the suits for the first twenty-four hours. The claustrophobia from the EVA suit wasn't quite as bad as that from the probe control module, but it was still there, a constant disease, as well as a serious handicap to her work. She might as well try to work with her hands tied behind her back. And with the gravity one point three times that of Earth, the extra weight would exhaust them quickly.
She felt like an elephant lumbering around in the thing, an accident waiting to happen. She touched her thigh pocket, feeling the cushioned outline of the PPG Chang had given to her. After keeping it in the back of a drawer in her quarters since