Contagion to This World

A Parallel Universe Story
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Heat Rises

Leaving Earth with a burst of speed and a trail of dark exhaust, the Saturnian Space Agency performed what had become routine: Eight people were on their way to relieve the entire crew of a low- Earth orbit space research station.

Unbeknownst to the agency’s flight surgeons or to the crew itself, a hypervirulent bacterium had hitched a ride. For one week, both crews mingled and then the crew that had been relieved flew home for the usual six month break.

This time, though, they would not be returning to the space station. A superbug had arrived with a healthy-looking crewmember.

Zander, our very own Typhoid Mary, brought with her death in the form of a pan-resistant superinfection Salmonella typhi, the bacterium that causes typhoid fever.

“…I’ve read your reports. You’ve briefed me on-station. I relieve you,” Zander stated formally.

“I stand relieved,” Echo spoke just as formally but was slouched in a chair, and then she clicked-off comms to Earth.

“Now,” she whooped, “let’s get this party started!”

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