RECORD: 0303K785$LUN-0.024 IDENTITIES: [SCRUBBED] LOCATION: K1 Dig Site 3 THREAT DETECT: Level 7, 10—Unauthorized Cognizance, Protocol Incompliance THREAT RESPONSE: [SCRUBBED] SCRUB REQUEST: Commander Kuang Xuan SCRUB RESPONSE: Accepted "That's it. That's the dig order. Clovis Bray has left the building." "Finally. Now let's get to work." "Wait. You can't just start like that." "What?" "Come on. Don't you see how momentous this is? Can't you feel it? We're on the Moon mining for what might be—" "Above my pay grade. I dig. You dig. Let's dig." "Slow down! Listen. A science only just discovered and a source on that wavelength or whatever is buried in the crust of the Moon. There's a whole other mission serving as a cover story! This is huge!" "Just another day at the office." "On the Moon..." "Yep. On the Moon. Now come on. Get your gear and mount up." "What's the hurry? It's just another day at the office." "Nobody remembers the second guy to walk on the Moon." "I do." "Huh?" "The second guy to walk on the Moon. I can name them all. First was—" "Okay. Fine. You made your point. Would you get your gear on?" "You do feel it." "Fine. Yeah. Just don't make me think about it too much, okay? We've got a lot of work to do." "All right, Apollo. Whatever you say." "Huh? I told you no nicknames. Now let's get moving."
RECORD: 6782W671$LUN-0.167 IDENTITIES: Dr. Tanis Lee, Commander Kuang Xuan, Captain Hou Ye [present, unspeaking] LOCATION: K1 Dig Site 2, Communion, Command Center THREAT DETECT: Level 10—Protocol Incompliance THREAT RESPONSE: Record for Posterity [REVISED RESPONSE]: Exhibit Record 12, FILE//REPORT TO RASPUTIN "Commander, we found it." "Where?" "Nearly twelve hundred meters deep in Site 3. The readings were all over the charts like in the other dig sites, but the borer broke into a tunnel and… Well, we almost hit it with the borer. The machine chewed through a pillar or something that held it up, and—" "It? So what is it? What does it look like? Show me the feed, the diagnostics, everything." "I don't have any of that." "What?" "That's why I'm here. Instruments failed the moment we broke through. The borer too." "Some sort of EMP? But your suits—" "Worked just fine. We checked and rechecked everything." "So what is this thing?" "Nothing like what I expected. You have to see it for yourself." "I think I do." "I'll help you get your suit on."
RECORD: 8796T563$LUN-0.324 [RECUSAL MIRROR RECORD] IDENTITIES: Dr. Wade Bow, Commander Kuang Xuan LOCATION: K1 Dig Site 4, Logistics, Infirmary THREAT DETECT: Level 8, 9—Possible Psychosis, Crew Impairment THREAT RESPONSE: Forward for Medical Review [REVISED RESPONSE]: Exhibit Record 456, FILE//REPORT TO RASPUTIN "I've completed the report, Commander. You can read it for yourself, but I think we both understand the gravity of the situation." "I will read it—and share a sitrep with the board next quarter—but a summary of principle findings wouldn't be out of order." "[yawn] Excuse me. I need to get some rest. Well, I can't explain the mechanism, but tests show neurochemical cascades increasing in frequency and severity over time. Individuals differ in their expression, but there's a clear trend when examined in the aggregate. Approximately eighty percent of the K1 crew is suffering similarly: intrusive thoughts, insomnia, narcolepsy, nightmares, and in the worst cases—as we saw with Helsha Rell—hallucinations, auditory and visual. It's a threat to the project." "And the twenty percent?" "Individuals who've yet to be exposed. And yes, before you ask, I did witness the effect in action. I took the levels on an unexposed technician, Keleen Vance, and reexamined them after just an hour with it. Despite no outward changes of behavior, there was a marked drop in her serotonin and a commensurate rise in cortisol. After a week of work at Site 3, she was requesting sedatives as a sleep aid. Now she wants something stronger. Something to knock her out." "Does your report include any recommendations?" "Only my best guess: Restrict direct exposure to thirty minutes per day, rotate teams between sites each week to limit proximity. And we need to plan for attrition. People need to get off this rock or they'll go crazy. Heck, I'm near the breaking point, and I'm supposed to help everyone else." "I think you're right. You do need a break. Come with me when I head back to Earth for my next quarterly. We can come up with a plan for who will replace you in the coming days." "Fine. [yawns] Fine. And my recommendations?" "I'll review the report, and we'll implement them. The rotation between sites will cause difficulty, but we'll do what we must to keep the crew fit."