Chapter Three: Secrets Laid Wide Open
It had only been two weeks since they landed. Two weeks of constant awareness. At least they were all safe within the confines of Star Ride.
Several times, hordes of zombies would pound repeatedly on the capsule’s door either with their fists or with heavy metal objects, but it got them nowhere.
When they went outside in a group of three or more (never just one), at least they had their fire lasers to protect themselves but even that was soon to be put to an end. They were running out of fuel and when they tried getting fuel, they would often have to run back to Star Ride as the deathly dead-walkers would begin to descend on them.
Clint and the others knew without the fire lasers, they were no match when it came down to it. The odds were too great. Seven against hundreds and what felt like thousands would be impossible to win. The idea now was survival. Survival the best way they could.
When all seven left the ISS, they took with them a radio transponder, electronic records of what had transpired, including those logs of the men and women who died as well as assorted video compiled by thirty cameras stationed on the ISS.
These were things Clint knew he had to go through but at the same time he kept putting it off only because he couldn’t bear to read about the deaths of his wife and son. Starvation. That had to be a hell of a way to die where your insides start feeding off yourself.
Clint set up a schedule from dawn to dark where someone would be on the radio to raise someone up anyone that wasn’t a zombie. For that matter, anyone that's still alive.
Clint made certain there were ample batteries for the walkie-talkies so when outside they could maintain constant touch with each other if split into groups of three and four.
It was his turn on the radio and as he continually sent out may day signals, he started watching the tapes. Most of which showed the ISS crew doing their jobs. It also showed his wife, Carla, with a small girl by her side who looked remarkably like Carla. Could it be he had a daughter? A daughter that also died on the ISS. Neither Darryl nor Elana ever mentioned a young child on board. Why is that? When they return to Star Ride it will be one of the first things he questions them about. And why would Carla, or for that matter, Mission Control allow such a thing? Had things been that bad then?
Clint felt a few tears trickle down his face, not just for Carla but also for the daughter he would never come to know. Did Darryl or Elana know her name? He needed to know her name.
Again, he tried transmitting.
“This is Captain Clint Raymond from the United States, transmitting from the Houston’s Mission Control area. We have returned from a mission from outer space. Is there anyone out there? Do you read me? Is there anyone out there?”
Like all the other times, nothing but static could be heard. Giving it a break after several unsuccessful attempts, he started browning the video reels again. After eleven go throughs, the twelfth one caused him to sit back, pause and then scream in a fit of rage. He saw both Carla and his daughter murdered, and it was all on film.
He could make out Dale’s brother Mark, t6he other man he didn’t know, but neither of them were responsible. But the video reel showed a partial segment of two people running the opposite way of where Carla died. Two people that were on the ISS murdered his wife and daughter.
Thinking back on conversations with both Darryl and Elana, and thinking on it now, some of the things they told him, and his crew were starting to not add up. The more he thought, the more his anger was welling inside him. He would have answers before the day was over, although he already suspected what the answers were.
What is that saying? When it rains it pours? There was no rain, but the shit did hit the fan.
Clint called us altogether for a meeting shortly after we came back with more food sup0plies, mostly canned goods and bottled water, and coffee. I can’t think straight without coffee.
Truth be told, after Clint showed us the video reel, I felt more like downing a fifth of vodka. It was a cruel thing to see. And Dale had tears in his eyes when he saw his brother.
After we all watched, Clint started questioning Darryl and Elana on the supposed deaths they said everyone succumbed too. Clint wanted to know what had happened to the bodies of Carla and the young girl. He wanted to kno0w where the other bodies went.
It was all coming to a head and the look in Clint’s eyes told us everything. He didn’t buy into their story of malnutrition, and frankly neither did anyone else. Hell, Brad and Jules and I had to restrain Dale. He was all set to lay into Darryl. Maybe we should have let him.
It was Elana who told us what really happened.
“Darryl had this plan and at first, I was against it. But the more he said our chances of survival out there would be greater if we eliminated everyone when each person was alone. As to the weapon, it was small but deadly. It was a Swiss mini-gun, about the size of a fob. It fires tiny 2.34mm shells at 270mph bullets powerful enough to kill at close range but the beauty of it, it makes no real sound.
“At first, I was against the idea but then I started thinking of how much longer we would be up there—trapped, without a way home. Suddenly, the idea of survival at all costs built inside me. But I tell you now, it was Darryl who killed them all. I only got each person away from those on board. Isolated, they were easy targets.
“As for the bodies, they were jettisoned off the ISS and are probably still drifting in space.”
The way she explained everything was such a matter of fact without an ounce of sadness in her voice. I wanted to strangle the bitch myself.
Clint did something I had never seen him do before and that was knock out three of Darryl’s teeth and kick him in the head. No one bothered to stop him but when he had his senses back intact, what he did say made us all stand up and take notice.
“I’m not a judge, but today I am your jury. There are no prisons left more than likely to send you to, but I can send you off Star Ride for good. As of right now, you are to leave here and never come back. Neither you nor Elana are welcomed here.” Turning to Elana he said more than asked, “What was the little girl’s name.”
It was 2016 hours when we were finished, and at 2019 hours, both Darryl and Elana disembarked off Star Ride and all their pleas fell on deaf ears.
Personally, I hope the zombies get sick eating their bodies. This is Margo Jessup. Signing off.
Written By: Danceinsilence