The beeping alerts roused Johann from his weightless sleep.

He floated to the control room, where alerts indicated the problem was the primary links with Earth.  All monitors displayed the same message: ‘Signal Lost.’ Backup links were also down.

To all ground stations covering their present orbit?  Strange, he thought.  The International Space Station never loses comms to Earth at this location.  It must be an issue on the Station. But then the redundant systems must also have failed.  Now he was worried.

Johann glanced out the window at Earth, 350 kilometres below.  He gasped.  Then grabbed a telephoto lens. No it cannot be…

Maria and Andrei arrived to the control room, saw the alerts on the monitors then looked at Johann, who was fixated with a look of shock and disbelief on his face.

They too looked at the planet’s surface.  At the mushroom clouds that covered the city below.



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