by A21 Reporter Andy Clems
Fire on the Moon! A series of devastating explosions has ripped through the World Space Patrol’s new Artemis installation on the lunar surface. The cause of the disaster has not been firmly established, but early reports indicate a possible malfunction in the atomic power system deep below the surface.
Ten people were trapped inside the base, their escape cut off by damaged airlocks, decompressed sections and heavy debris. The explosions were monitored by every space tracking scanner on Earth and International Rescue reacted with lightning speed, launching Thunderbird 3 from their secret base, somewhere in the Pacific.
On board the fantastic rescue craft, Scott, Alan and Virgil Tracy knew the task ahead was not an easy one. Each man had a wealth of astronaut experience under his belt, but also knew the additional dangers that could arise during a rescue in space.
Landing the colossal rocket out of harms way at one of the remaining functional pads, the three Tracy brothers geared up for action. Leaving their Thunderbird behind, they traveled towards the wrecked control module on board the Lunar Sled, a device engineered by Brains for rapid transport in low gravity. Clad in their advanced International Rescue space-suits with built-in retro-jets, the brothers dismounted from the sled and began to cut through the debris blocking access to the damaged surface airlock outside the control module.
It was slow going, with a lot to clear. As Alan and Virgil sliced through each obstacle with their lasers, Scott established a direct radio link with the personnel trapped inside. The base commander, Shane Crethar, advised that several of the crew had sustained serious injuries and that the artificial gravity and life-support systems were just about burned out.
Wasting no time, Scott directed the commander to divert all power from the gravity systems to life support in order to buy them as much time as possible. Meanwhile, Virgil and Alan completed the clearance work and returned to the Lunar Sled for the auto-lock apparatus. Looking like a kind of flexible doorway panel, the auto-lock was another ingenious invention created by Brains. The three brothers positioned it against the airlock hatch to form a perfect air-tight seal. At the touch of a button, the auto-lock extended outwards on mobile supports, creating a corridor of about six feet in length. This would compensate for the damage to the existing airlock and maintain the internal atmosphere of the base during the recovery mission.
Entering the control module, the Tracy brothers tended to the most severely injured personnel while reassuring the others that everything was going to be alright. Commander Crethar had received only minor injuries and assisted in the evacuation of his crew, ferrying them from the crippled structure out to Thunderbird 3 in a few short trips.
Scott supervised the mission and kept a close watch on the base systems. Life support finally failed, but by that time, all personnel had been moved to Thunderbird 3. Virgil, Alan and the commander returned to collect Scott a short time later. However, just as they were preparing to abandon the base and return to Earth, an alarm began to blare from one of the computer terminals. The atomic power core of the base was going critical and with no remaining control systems to stabilise it, it looked as if nothing would prevent an atomic explosion that could wipe out every Lunar Outpost for miles around!
Stay tuned to A21 for more information the nano-second it arrives!