2016, astronauts, biology, Counselor, death, Earth, Earth Space Exploration Program, ESEP, ESS Carl Sagan, HD cameras, Jenna Wade, Ken Hart, Mars, Mars Mission 2016, Mars time, Noctis Labyrinthus, Noctis Standard Time, NST, physician, Russia, space, space travel, spacecraft, spacecraft design, Wendy Stevens, Zeke Jackson
- Mars Date/Time: Year 001, Sur Two, Saturday, Sol 31(001.2.31) 19:00 NST
- Earth Date/Time: Tuesday, 5 April 2016 2:00 PM PDT
- Distance traveled: 141,492,168 kilometers Time Delay: 4 mins 12 secs
- Distance to Mars Rendezvous: 250,917,584 kilometers
Dr. Kayla Summers had experience in an investigative criminal lab as part of her preparation for the Mars mission. It was assumed that some of the crew might die, and that sometimes their deaths would be undetermined. Her training was to pay attention to small details that might tell the story of the cause of death.
In the case of Joseph Volkva, his death was not obvious. He was found lying on his bed in the brig, not breathing. The first person to find him was Ian who was his guard. He had assumed that Joseph found a way to kill himself, but there were no visible signs. He called Dr. Summers immediately.
It took Kayla about a minute to rule out suicide. She noted he looked too relaxed for normal sleep and that meant he was probably drugged before he died. She then searched his body for an injection site. She found it in his chest. Whoever killed him was not hiding the location of the fatal injection.
When Jenna arrived she asked the obvious question, “How was he killed.” Kayla replied, “He was drugged…I’m guessing orally, then they injected something directly into his heart. I won’t know more until I do the autopsy.”
Later Jenna got Kayla’s report. It said he had been tranquilized with the drug mixed in Tequila. After he became immobile, he was injected with a polymer substance that filled the heart and flowed to the lungs. The polymer took a few minutes to harden, but death probably occurred within a minute. Once the polymer was injected, he could not have been saved. The method was meant to leave nothing to chance.
When Jenna met with her Command team for the morning briefing she was looking for answers. Jenna asked, “We know Joseph was murdered, and we know how he was killed, but how did anyone get to him without being caught on camera? He was under constant video surveillance and was checked on every half hour.” Ken replied,
“He met with Wendy from 16:10 to 17:18. We know that he was given a meal at 18:12. Peyton said one of the Charlie One crew delivered the meal to him, we know he ate the meal and Peyton collected the food container and returned it to the mess at 18:28. According to the video he must have been given a workpad with the food container. He turned his back to the camera holding the food container and put it under his pillow.
He was checked on every half hour until he went to bed at 22:12. At 11:46 he put the workpad in front of the camera with a device similar to what Zeke used. The tablet was playing a loop of him sleeping in the dark. At 04:23 someone removed the tablet and left the brig.”
Naomi asked, “What about all the other cameras on the ship. Anyone moving in that Quill had to be seen.” Ken shook his head and said, “That’s what is strange. We see someone move down and then back up, but they have some type of cloth or bag over them. The fabric completely covered them. We can’t even tell their height or weight. When they got to the core they disappeared.”
Roman said, “What do you mean, they disappeared?” Ken replied, they covered the cameras in the core section at the end of that Quill, and we don’t see them come out that core section. It wasn’t until after we found Joseph dead, that anyone noticed the cameras were covered. We have people moving into that core section, but we can account for everyone that went in or out of that section. There was no one who left that section without already entering it.
Jenna said, “We have a murderer on board, and they are likely a Russian agent. Their job isn’t over. I think we can assume they were Plan B for the Russians. No one is safe until we find them.”