The Chaldean Legacy
Book Two of The Disciples of Cassini Trilogy

By Penny de Byl

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Prologue

Space is not the perfect place to dispose of a body. Not unless the deceased could be propelled with enough momentum to ensure they were out of sight before anyone noticed. A body in space would simply float away, the strength of the skin preventing it from bursting in the vacuum. The first threat to life would be from embolism where the gasses would bubble out of the body’s fluids as they do in deep-sea divers who ascend too quickly. These gasses would blow the skin up like a balloon to almost twice the size within ten seconds. Gas dissipating from the body would cause evaporative cooling and muscle paralysis in thirty seconds. Next, the lungs would collapse and ice crystals would form in the nose and throat. The body wouldn’t freeze solid, as there is no temperature in space. It is neither hot nor cold, as there is no medium for conduction. If anything, the body would eventually heat up from the radiation of any nearby stars.

No. This body had to be dealt with by other means. It had to be thoroughly disposed of after it was dead so no one would start asking questions.

Strong in his convictions, he’d already injected himself. The drug worked quicker than he’d expected. His footsteps were harder and deliberate on the aluminum plating, making it difficult to be covert, as he pressed on toward his objective. He heaved himself to the base of a large stainless steel vat. Robust hands turned the large wheel on the side with considerable effort until the vacuum seal hissed and sighed as it broke. An unbearable nauseating aroma filled the room.

His vision was blurred, and he sweat profusely. He lifted himself feverishly up to the top of the tank and bent over the rim at the waist ready to climb in. His gag reflex was strong in the presence of the effluent only centimeters from his face. He could feel his chest spasm. The pain radiated throughout his body. Maybe the vacuum of space would have been a more preferable way to end his life—this time. The heavy lid of the vat unexpectedly slammed down onto his body. His torso bobbed in the putrid liquid with no objection. He was already dead.

His legs swung gently against the side of the vat rubbing up against black stenciling that read Everjein Biological Disposal Only.