Chapter One: VULCAN (Tempered by the Forge)
Hotter than any place that supports life has a right to be.
Standing at the cracked red foot of Mount Seleya, wrapped in the finest thermo-lytic garments the twenty-fourth century has to offer, I still sweat so profusely that the moisture clouds my vision. I'm barely able to discern the outline of the mountain through my stinging eyes. Intellectually, I know the suit is minimizing my body's need to perspire, keeping me from drying up like a pressed flower.
Emotionally, it's of little comfort.
Here I am on one of the least habitable M class planets...