Time of day/year: 0600 Coordinated Universal Time.
Location: The International Space Station, roughly 250 miles above the surface of the Earth.
Supplies: Various biological experiments and lab technologies stored in slide out racks, zero-G torque cancelling tools, 6 space suits, hundreds of small plastic bags with equipment, clothing, tie-downs, food, medical supplies, etc., Robonaut 2 upper torso humanoid robot, and the Soyuz Survival Pistol – The triple-barreled gun can fire flares, shotgun shells, or rifle bullets (you have 10 rounds of each). The gun’s shoulder stock opens into a machete for chopping firewood (see: http://www.jamesoberg.com/russiangun_tec.html). NOTE: Firing a gun in the ISS will consume the oxygen, and risk explosive decompression of the station, the firearm is meant for survival situations upon landing.)
Additional persons: Russian Cosmonaut Alexandra Djerikov – Mission life support systems specialist, American Astronaut Hank Cruz – Atmospheric control systems, and Chinese Astronaut Qin Yu – biologist/medical specialist.
You are the Public Relations specialist with a Ph.D. in Physics (though the crew calls you cookie, because you make the best food).
You snap awake to the sound of yells and the whoosh of oxygen siphoning from the space station module. A barometric emergency patch release bursts, letting a muffled pop escape through the yelling and cursing. Confused and dazed from your sleep, you stare as a thick crimson fluid is sucked through the hull, pouring out into space. As the patch foam seals the puncture and hardens you realize the fluid is blood… and there was/is lots of it.
The mild whir of the station’s emergency atmospheric controls equalizing the pressure is dulled by the shouts and panicked instructions of Qin and your fellow crew members.
Removing yourself from the sleep station, you pull yourself along the corridor and maneuver over to your fellow astronauts as they apply first-aid to Viktor Ydovsky (Engineer and robotics expert). There is a severe upper chest wound, just above Viktor’s heart, he is barely alive. The blood pouring from Viktor’s body forms large globules and floats through the station in the zero-g.
Qin applies a thick compress to Viktor’s wound while Alexandra helps apply pressure. Hank does his best to start an IV, but a sudden convulsion through Viktor’s body causes the IV to rip from place and catch in Hank’s own hand. Another violent convulsion and Viktor is gone. The damage to Viktor’s system proves too great, and at 0400 he is declared dead.
You take to clearing the area of Viktor’s blood, while Alexandra contacts mission control. They give the order to load the body on the Soyuz return capsule for return and burial, with launch to take place immediately.
While you and your fellow astronauts solemnly load Viktor into his spacesuit, Sarah Greenberg (Navigation) preps the capsule and checks the weather forecast for re-entry windows. The next window is over the Indian ocean with recovery by Naval forces from India. You load the body into the capsule and seal the hatch, Sarah is at the helm. The capsule launches and you receive one last call from Sarah before re-entry forces radio silence. In it she states that the zero-G is kind of “creeping her out” because it looks as if Viktor is moving… then static filled nothingness.
Cruz has bandaged his hand which has a minor wound from the IV. He complains of irritation and itching and Qin takes a blood sample just to be safe. She finds an unknown form of bacteria has entered Cruz’ bloodstream, and it seems to be spreading aggressively.
Qin mutters something about it being impossible for bacteria to survive in open space, but decides it much has been from the meteor hit earlier. Cruz begins feeling shaky and you help him into a sleeping station to rest. He rapidly succumbs to a fever, grows exceedingly confused, aggressive and erratic in movement. You and Qin keep an eye on him, monitoring vitals and behavior, attempting contact with mission control throughout. Mission control requests a quarantine be set in place, but before you can move him Cruz succumbs to cardiac arrest.
Attempts to revive him are unsuccessful, he is declared dead at 0545.
Mission control wants you to move forward with the quarantine by wrapping the body in a plastic bag and sealing it in cargo, continuing with a full station scrub down afterward. Mission control is sending a replacement return vehicle your way, with a launch window 3 days from now… let the decontamination begin.
As your nose twitches at the omnipresent harsh chemical smell of bleach, you do your best to focus on cleaning every inch of the station you can get to. At 0600 the body of Hank Cruz begins to move, his hands slowly tear through the plastic as he frees himself from the bag. Looking around with yellowed and bloodshot eyes his gaze falls upon you. He opens his mouth and an eerie moaning wheeze escapes as he floats towards you with arms outstretched and teeth bared….
How do YOU survive? Comment below!
No time for indecision. whatever you’re going to do, do it now!
- You only have the supplies and personnel listed above.
- Keep it real, keep it clean and do your best to survive.