In Space No One Can Hear Your Fanaticism.
Kline managed to remove a wasted cell and insert a spare from his backpack. He expected the notebook to contain some sort of manual like - How to Survive When You Have No Nanobots.
He switched it on. A bible. What the hell was one of them doing out here?
“How the hell did that get here?” Bilge asked.
“Bush, bring up Symcox’s record,” Deli ordered.
“Sir, if their nanobots had a virus, shouldn’t they have destroyed the base?” Bolcher reminded them.
“Yes,” Bilge and Deli both answered.
“Nothing in her records about a religious background," Bush said. "Just her confrontation with Howitt."
“Where is the base’s auto destruct unit located?” Kline asked.
“In the office you are currently in.” Bilge told him.
Shit. “So those people outside could have been trying to get in to destroy the base.”
“Possibly,” Deli said.
“But why wouldn’t Symcox have destroyed the base?” Bilge asked.
“Don’t Christians have some thing about suicide being a sin?” Deli said. “So maybe Symcox couldn’t bring herself to kill herself by destroying the base.”
Or maybe, Kline thought, she had believed it was God’s will that the nanobots had caught a virus. Rather than destroy the base and save humanity from nanobot depravation, maybe Symcox had locked herself in and claimed it was God’s will that the virus should be preserved and passed on to any incoming ships. Had Howitt converted her into some kind of religious fanatic?
The labs light briefly flickered to life before burning out.
“Bolcher shut down the controls and both of you get out of there now,” Deli ordered.
“But they…” Bilge was cut off.
Could be contaminated, Kline finished Bilge’s thought. He thrust the bible back onto the console and rushed towards the doorway. Why didn’t I just dropped the thing? He thought. It would have shattered in this cold. I had to turn the thing on, and now I’m probably infected, just like Clarke at Magna.
“Warning, suit integrity has been compromised,” his suit’s monitor warned
He tripped on one of the bodies and stumbled against the wall. “My suit’s got a leak.” Kline yelled.
“Bolcher make your way to the airlock as quickly as you can. Kline, stay where you are until Bolcher reaches the airlock.
Kline's feet had begun to itch and he could feel the cold floor through the soles of his boots. He knew there wasn’t much time, as he gasped for every breath, but he stayed slumped against the wall. He felt he might as well give Bolcher a chance. Besides they would never be let him back on to the ship anyway.