There was a depression about a hundred meters from where the ship lay, her back broken and the drive section missing. In the suit, it took him an hour to drag Rebbo's corpse across the rocky ground, and after a rest, another hour to find enough flammable materials from the wreck to build a pyre.
"This time would be more productively spent erecting the portable comms unit." ELLE's voice was in his ear.
"Plenty of time," he wheezed. "Nobody in range for another week."
Which she knew, of course. She had all the information he did and more, and had total recall of it and no concussion. But procedure was to set up the comms before doing anything else, and following correct procedure was paramount.
"You've been injured. The telltales in your suit are sending worrisome readings. If you were to lose consciousness before the portable comms unit is operational, rescue might be catastrophically delayed."
"Do this first."
Rebbo had been ten feet tall in life, with the thick bones of one descended from brute-force predators; getting his remains up onto the pyre without help proved difficult and time-consuming.
"Your radiation exposure is already significant."
He looked up at the planet: the immense gas giant and its rings hung above him, painted onto the sky. "Suit."
"The suit can only guard against so much; the more energetic particles are still getting through. You—"
Mays switched off his suit radio. He'd turn it on again, in a while. It's not like she'd be angry. She'd just make him take all sorts of shots, and because he went against ELLE's advice, the Company wouldn't pay for them.
He had to stay out here for this. He couldn't predict the timing.
There was a welding LASER in the toolkit, he dialed it to wide dispersion and set the pyre alight. The moon's atmosphere had even more oxygen than Earth — how, Mays had no idea — so the fire was burning merrily in a few seconds, consuming the pyre, tall flames whipping at the air high above. Rebbo's corpse was lost from view, mercifully.
Mays stepped back, sat down in the dust, watched it burn. After a while, he turned the suit radio back on.
ELLE spoke almost immediately. "If your task is complete, you should return to the airlock now."
"Almost; won't be long now."
The pyre had already begun to collapse into a pile of red-hot embers and ash, with flame and smoke swirling above it. From within the base of the conflagration, something stirred: small, blister-white, Rebbo-shaped. It nosed out of the ash and scuttled across the dust to where Mays sat.
"Welcome back." He reached out, picked it up.