2016, astronauts, Earth Space Exploration Program, ESEP, ESS Carl Sagan, HD cameras, Jenna Wade, Ken Hart, Mars, Mars Mission 2016, Noctis Labyrinthus, NST, space, space travel, spacecraft design, stowaway, Zeke Jackson
- Mars Date/Time: Year 001, Sur Two, Tuesday, Sol 34 (001.2.34) 17:04 NST
- Earth Date/Time: Friday, 8 April 2016 2:00 PM PDT
- Distance traveled: 152,306,856 kilometers Time Delay: 4 mins 12 secs
- Distance to Mars Rendezvous: 240,102,896 kilometers
Because Zeke was an expert on stowing away on a ship, Jenna used him as a resource to develop a plan to catch the alleged stowaway that came with the Charlie One ship. Zeke knew that it was too risky to hide in one of the Hab Quills. The combination of people and cameras in those areas would make it an unlikely hiding place.
Unfortunately, those are the areas that were under surveillance, in the belief that the FSB agent was one of the crew. Most of the cargo Quills were also poor places to stay for an extended period because they were areas of severely restricted life support. Some Quills had been sealed and had no life support. Others were under conditions that would be unbearable for extended periods.
One of Zeke’s first questions was whether or not a construction pod was missing from Earth Prime. Claude confirmed that one was missing. Once he knew that, he guessed that Lars Wilson used the construction pod to access Charlie One. This was how Zeke was able to avoid security and cameras to board the ESS Queen Elizabeth II.
New protocols had been put in place to avoid someone to repeat Zeke’s trick, but those protocols had been suspended because of the emergency. It was the next day after Charlie One undocked that a post-launch inventory discovered the missing pod, but since all personnel were accounted for on Earth Prime, the issue was put aside.
Zeke believed that Lars was using the construction pod to live in, and resupplying it from a cargo area. Using the cameras on the exterior of the ship, they determined that the missing construction pod was, in fact, attached to a cargo section that had been part of Charlie One.
When Zeke told the Command team he added, “This is the bad news. A construction pod can do a lot of damage. Just using it to ram a ship could create enough structural damage that the ship might not be able to fire up the ICP drive for fear of tearing the it apart. If Lars knows we’re on to him, and he’s on the pod, he has a weapon we can’t defend against.”
Ken said, “We could wait until he’s out of the pod, but he’s a threat every moment until we grab him.” Zeke said, “I have an idea, but it’s risky. I know Lars, and I’m a better pod driver than he is, so if I can come up on his blind side, and if someone is there to hook up a tow line, I can pull him off and keep him away from the ship.”
Jenna said, “You’re right, that’s very risky. If he got lucky, he could ram you.” Zeke replied, “I’m confident he doesn’t have the skill, and if we could cause a small breach on his pod he would only have seconds before he would be unconscious.”
Jenna said, “Any other ideas?….Okay, let’s see if we can catch him outside of the pod, first. Let’s not be too aggressive. Station people away from the cargo area, but close enough to move in behind him if he leaves. We’ll keep an eye on the area with our cameras. He he moves, we’ll grab him. Then if he doesn’t do anything, we’ll go with Zeke’s plan in twenty-four hours. Zeke, work out a detailed plan with Anna and Ken. Let’s keep this quiet until we’ve got him. I don’t think we have another FSB agent aboard, but let’s assume there is, and that he can contact Lars.”