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  • Mars Date/Time:  Year 001, Sur Two, Friday, Sol 37 (001.2.37)  15:09 NST
  • Earth Date/Time:  Monday, 11 April 2016  2:00 PM PDT 
  • Distance traveled:  163,121,544 kilometers   Time Delay:  4 mins 12 secs
  • Distance to Mars Rendezvous:  229,288,208 kilometers

Megan was reluctant about having her personal life managed, but there were perks to having someone else determine personal needs, and then insisting those needs be fulfilled. In this case it was a spa appointment she set up last week, while she was still in France.

Prior to her promotion, she built her life around her boss, but when she had the opportunity, she would call one of her college friends that lived in San Jose, and they would go to the Burke Williams spa. It was one of about five places she used to reset, and gain perspective on her life.

She had arranged to meet her friend, Jessica, at the spa at two-thirty today, and was considering canceling after the recent issues with the Russians and aboard the Sagan, but her personal assistant, Emily, was not going to allow her to skip it.  Emily, in fact, invited herself along, to make sure Megan didn’t back out at the last-minute.

They were not alone, of course. Megan’s security team swept through the place before she entered, and three people were stationed inside, with five waiting outside, including the three drivers/officers of the SUV caravan. She also had her administrative person on site monitoring ESEP situations that might require an immediate answer.

Megan wished that her job wouldn’t intrude here, but she knew that she was no longer in the realm of normal people.

She and Jessica chatted while they relaxed in a waiting area, drinking tea. Emily, was giving Megan space, but was shadowing Megan’s movements. They moved into a massage room.

As both of them laid on the massage tables, Emily stayed outside the room. Their conversation began to slow as both enjoyed the work of the two masseuses. Megan began to feel a warm glow…then realized that she was not falling asleep. She tried to move but her arms just dropped to each side of the table. She was paralyzed. Her masseur stopped and seconds later she heard a popping sound, then the sound of someone falling to the floor.

Megan was being turned over, and as she turned she saw the collapsed body of the other masseur laying on the floor. Megan heard Emily enter and say something, then she saw a gun with a silencer stretch out above her and fire. By the sound of the thud, Megan knew that Emily was dead. The female masseur was getting something out of a bag or cupboard, then she turned back to Megan. She saw it was a large hypodermic syringe over her chest, filled with a yellow liquid that she assumed to be a polymer solution. She knew what came next.

The next sound she heard was not the pop of a gun with a silencer, but three deafening shots of a gun in a closed room. The masseur flew out of Megan’s sight, with her arms raising in the air and the syringe flying up and away. Before she could fully understand what happened, she was being lifted up and carried out of the room, while a blur of people flew around her.

She watched as the ceiling and walls passed around her, then sunlight, then she was thrown in the SUV with doors slamming around her. She was mostly nude, but the someone to her right took the towel to try to cover her as tires screamed into motion. Someone was hugging her, and she wished she could move, but her body was still not responding.

Just as she was starting accept her situation, a loud percussion shook the SUV. It felt like war had just broken out in the place she used as her sanctuary. She suddenly remembered that her friend, Jessica, was just as helpless as she was, and must still be in the room. Megan then remembered Emily. How many died in the last three minutes?

After just a few minutes the SUV stopped and the doors flew open. Again, someone picked her up and carried her through automatic sliding doors. She was at the Emergency Room. Megan assumed it was Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, which she knew to be the closest. She caught a glimpse of the SUV’s behind her and she saw one of the Security team carrying Jessica. “They got her!” she thought, and then she began to cry.