Week seventeen - End
A sense of uplifting tranquility engulfed her as she floated around the hab. Sarah had long since made peace with the fact that she would end here. That it would end here. That quite possibly so, life would end here. That the vast darkness below and even further down, all the way below in the deserted cities and streets life would end. This time fully. It was just guesswork, they hadn't known what had transpired down below months ago. They hadn't been in contact with Houston for over three months now. They. It was just her. The other -once known as invincible- astronauts had all opted to leave this life sooner. Sarah, as the on board physician stayed behind to make their passing quick and painless. They floated around in space now, their bodies long since frozen and even disintegrated remembered only by her. All strong and beautiful people, every single one of them. Jensen, Kirk, Hiruchi and Watson.
The first message of the chaos down below had arrived all but 4 months ago. Houston reported an all engulfing flu virus was spreading across Europe and soon would reach the United States. None had died yet but it had been by far the biggest epidemic anybody then alive had ever seen. Scientists had been baffled, governments blown off their feet. Or so Houston reported. For Sarah and her crew mates it had been business as usual, aside from the general worry for their friends and loved ones. Experiments continued, life continued. A week later Houston was in shambles. Half baked reports of seriously ill NASA employees had streamed in. They had sent the information of the virus, and some of the news reports but everything was vague. Everyone was ill. Soon enough they started dying by the dozens, thousands, millions. All space flights were suspended, all the experiments. All suspended indefinitely. The last message had been from NASA top leader Jamieson himself. The end was nearing, and the world was in shambles. There was no going home.
Kirk had been the first to end it, the grieve over his lost wife and children overpowering him with such force that it was no longer bearable for a single mind. A single soul. He took his own life one night, leaving floating bubbles of blood filling nearly every inch of the space station. The crew had been devastated, shell-shocked, shook awake harshly by the reality of their situation. There was no way to go. One way or another the end was near for them too.
Jensen and Hiruchi followed, as per their own request. She had put them to sleep and they wished to be floated as soon as she stopped their hearts. Watson had helped her. The burial was solemn and quiet. Watson was next to go, helping Sarah prepare all but the final touches of her own death. She would be the last. Alone for 24 hours now, insanity creeping behind her tired eyes she wondered if she was the last person to go. Not with a bang as she hoped she would one day go, but with a distant fizzle, a fading light. The responsibility felt almost too difficult to bear. But as she looked below, to the passing earth, the great pacific she knew it was time.
Methodically she squeezed herself into her space suit and pushed the needle into her soft skin, not quite willing to float around the hab for eternity after dying, and slightly hoping that one day new inhabitants, a new crew would occupy this marvel of human technology she opted to float as well. The injection would be enough to knock her out cold in several minutes, then she'd let the air tank -that was only filled one third of the way- run out and she'd follow her crew to the dark eternity. She knew she had to depressurize were the circumstances normal, but what did it matter now? Jensen had overridden the airlock security with her only days before and she could just be sucked into the abyss only minutes after she was knocked out cold. The sheer pressure and the air running out would hopefully be enough to help her towards a quick and painless death. She'd done the math. It'd work. The last of the suit was airtight now, and Sarah pushed the buttons to open the air lock exactly 5 minutes from now, the medicine already working its way through her system. She closed her eyes and waited for the end.
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