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  • Mars Date/Time:  Year 001, Sur Two, Tuesday, Sol 27 (001.2.27)  21:34 NST
  • Earth Date/Time:  Friday, 1 April 2016  2:00 PM PDT 
  • Distance traveled:  127,072,584 kilometers   Time Delay:  4 mins 06 secs
  • Distance to Mars Rendezvous:  265,337,168 kilometers

Joseph Volkvo had been separated from his crew for almost twenty-four hours. He had been questioned about his girlfriend and his loyalties. The questioning had only been been for about an hour last night and then he was confined to a spare quarters on the Sagan under guard. He knew he was in trouble, but he didn’t know had bad it was.

During the day he had been given food, and allowed to go to the bathroom, but he was not allowed access to anyone, nor was he allowed to communicate back to Earth. It was now 9:30 at night and he was summoned to the Director’s quarters.

Jenna, Ken, Naomi, Wendy, and Anna were already there. He was told to sit down in a seat facing Jenna workstation. Jenna brought up a video of his sister. She began to speak,

“Joseph, I am safe. ESEP had people come to take me back to the mainland. They tell me that my life was in danger, but that not being held hostage. They are offering to protect me, and I will be allowed to go almost anywhere in the world under a new identity. They say that if you accomplished your mission for the FSB, that I would have been killed because I could identify the agent that visited me. I know this is true. They say that once that agent is caught, the less reason the FSB would have to kill me. They have also arrested your girlfriend.

It is over. We should cooperate with them. They have pictures of her at the airport when she left Maui. They will find her. I hope all is well.”

The message ended. Joseph looked up at Jenna and said, “So you’re holding her hostage.” Jenna shook her head and said,

“She wouldn’t even be involved in this if the FSB hadn’t brought her into it. Don’t you get it? The FSB can’t be associated with sabotage of the Mars mission. The entire world would be coming down on Russia if they were exposed. There were three options. If you sabotaged this mission she would have been killed within hours, if you had tried and failed she would have been killed, or held hostage until you got back and then they would have killed both of you. If you decided not to do anything she would have been killed to cover their tracks. You put her life in danger. We’re trying to save her, you fool.”

Joseph laughed, “Maybe some things are worth dying for. Maybe I don’t care.” Jenna leaned down to him and said,

“For your sake, I hope you care. I don’t think you understand our situation here. As of last night you are no longer a member of this crew, and only members of the mission are going to Mars. Your sister is cooperating and as long as she does she will avoid charges of espionage. If she stops cooperating she won’t be a hostage, she’ll be an inmate. What I’m asking for is simple. I want to know how you met your girlfriend and what you know about her. I want to know what she asked you to do, or what she implied you should do, and I want to know what you know about FSB operations. You have to convince me you are worthy of being on this mission and you have a long way to go.”

He smirked, “What are you going to do push me out into space?” Jenna looked him in the eye and said,

“Put yourself in my place. You have limited resources and a dangerous multi-year mission to Mars. Now you have a saboteur on board that will be a constant threat to the mission and the lives of the people on board. What would you do?”