Author: Michael W. Clark

Now that I had eaten to the crew, what was I going to do? Autophagia? That seemed a pointless waste of energy. Cutting off my leg and cooking it? A waste of energy all round. Killing one’s self in space though was efficient, relatively simple, and full of choices. Reduce the cabin’s oxygen concentration or increase the carbon dioxide. The latter was preferable to the former. Then you fall asleep and die unaware. There was turning off the heat. There was the much more dramatic method of opening the airlock, all at once or slowly. So many choices to one end.

It was such a waste though. Failures are like that, a waste. This mission failed dramatically. Off course was an understatement. Too much travel time, too little food. Water and air recycled. Not like being lost at sea. No fishing in space just starving. So, the captain decided, no one else questioned. I was the survivor because I was small. The captain froze the other crew members and himself while I was asleep. Not a good thing to wake up to. Good thing I wasn’t a vegetarian. The captain ordered me to survive and get back to base. Preventing a total failure was the captain’s rationale for the decision. So, I was only following orders.

Unfortunately, still too far out. The Navi Comp’s recalculations were more accurate the closer the ship was to base. Still two months out. I left out the most obvious way to die. Starving to death. It is a slow death. I have always been a patient person. It was thought to be a virtue in long space voyages. Short stature and long in patience. That’s me. Got me into this situation. Now add thin; short, thin and patient. Obedient, yes, obedient too. Aye aye captain. I have eaten you all. As you ordered. I may fail you on survival though. I will move as little as possible. Drink water and keep calm. Keep the metabolism down. I will try, captain. I will try. Try or die. Try and die. It was the way my grandfather described living. Try and still die. So, I am living in full.