Hell In Seventh Heaven (Short Story)

Hell in Seventh Heaven 

The “Heaven Space Resort” has taken five years and a vast fortune to construct, but promises to be the premiere vacation destination for decades to come. Not only is this the first and only space station dedicated entirely to civilian tourism, it is chock full of the latest technological wizardry and the most luxuriant comforts from home, to enhance the unparalleled experience of two weeks in Heaven.

The station is comprised of seven separate modules. The first module, and the second largest of the seven, is the Command Center. This is where the business of being in space is taken care of. The Core Crew is able to be completely self contained within this module, with their own living facilities and life-support systems located here. This module is also designed to serve as a lifeboat for guests of the station in case of emergency, and is equipped with one of the station’s two docking stations. Module Two acts as the interface between the business of space, and the business of tourism. This area is largely an administrative area, and is equipped with a state-of-the-art medical bay as well, foreseeing the problems that may arise with civilians who have not undergone the rigors of full Astronaut training and testing. Modules Three through Six contain the living quarters for the Resort Crew, cooking and laundry facilities, engineering areas, and plenty of storage for the basic necessities of life in space.

Module Seven is the main resort, affectionately called “Seventh Heaven.” Here, guests are treated to a stunning view of the Earth through enormous see-through panels. But if they get bored of that after a while, there is a movie theatre, a bar, the main dining area, a gaming area, and an exercise area. All of these of course, are centrally located between luxurious suites, which come equipped with the latest in artificial romantic companionship by Conglomerate subsidiary Fleshbot, if so desired.

The following is taken from the account documented by Resort Director Attomant DonLuen in his own words, and verified through the station’s A/V recording components. (Some entries have been edited or removed to preserve continuity.)

Command Crew departs, after giving me a final brush-up on command operations. I have decided to stay with the station, confident that the situation down on Earth will improve. It seems that once again the nations of the world are perched precariously before the precipice of unrestricted war. But, as we all know, this is not the first time, so global war need not be so. I try to think of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the failed nuclear launch by Iran, and the Battle of the Taiwan Strait. All of these could have led mankind down the road to annihilation expeditiously, but they did not.

In the meantime, I have decided to stay on-board to maintain the systems which keep this station flying high. The Core Crew had only consisted of two personnel since the station has not yet officially opened yet. The Doctor was one of the last staff members scheduled to arrive, before operations were postponed due to the crisis, but the Lieutenant Commander became violently ill during his sleep-period. Commander Tazin had the choice of letting the Lieutenant Olengarth die, quite literally it appears, or to bring him back down to Earth for surgery. The station is supposed to be able to operate unmanned for at least several months at a time, but this has not yet been tested. At the behest of my employer who has invested so much in this project, I have elected to stay. I am no Astronaut, but I have a firm grasp of how this automated station operates now, thanks to the Commander. I also have ample study material, and obviously, direct comms with Ground Control to assist.

The Commander has promised that she will return to personally relieve me of my duty herself, but we both know her decision was most likely the end of her career. Conglomerate would have rather seen me try to fly the Angelica Shuttle and die trying, than to risk Heaven. What’s done is done.


Commander Tazin has informed me directly by comms link that the Lieutenant faced complications, but is expected to survive.

I think I will begin to explore my habitat further today. Since arriving five days ago now, I have not left the Command Module. I was anxious to explore the resort area, but it seems clear now that becoming familiar with the Command Center has paid off. I think I can manage to go about my own duties now though, as everything seems to be running smoothly here. I will bring the rest of the station online and verify the delivery data against the storage facilities. Air and water are showing full levels, but the luxury goods are only at about 65% according to my figures. Even so, there should be plenty of food if I end up having to stay longer than expected. At this point, my stay is estimated at twelve days remaining.


Lieutenant Olengarth has died.


All remains normal. I am spending most of my time in the Command Module still, but have tried out a few of the gadgets that will surely impress our most discerning guests. I must admit, I am tempted to activate one of the companion units. I have never seen one in live operation yet, only in digital presentations. I wonder what this sort of technology will do to society when it becomes main stream. It is certainly quite controversial, but since they are so expensive, the issues are not really pushed. I know my fiancé would not approve of my curiosity, however scientific, and whether or not it directly relates to my job. Well, another day perhaps. For now, I will go back to contemplation with the most spectacular view I have ever enjoyed. I don’t think I could ever get tired of it.


The Ground Control Center (GCC) had originally hoped to have a replacement crew in place by this date. They have given me little details for the delay, other than to say that the original mission was scrapped, in favor of a more useful and cost-effective mission now being planned. Conglomerate has yet to prove that they can perform two-week turnaround missions on a regular basis. I wonder if that fact is getting by the investors in this project.


My fiancé, Kristy, is concerned. She reports that people are getting sick in growing numbers in my home region, with an unknown illness. She also reports that there is an increased police presence, buttressed by regular troops, and irregularities in media reporting. Neither of us have voiced what our real concern is. GCC assures me that there is no need for concern, and has offered to fly Kristy there. I see no reason for this though, as our personal comms work fine. California or New York makes no difference.


This is the first time I am second-guessing my decision to stay here. Kristy tells me that the situation there has grown much worse. That people are dieing in large numbers, but that nothing is being reported in the media. She does not want to leave the house, but is concerned that she does not have enough food to wait out the crisis. GCC has now rescinded their offer to fly her to California.

I have begun intercepting global comms frequencies, and have been able to piece together information that leads me to conclude this problem is not just in New York. Perhaps it is better to be out here for now, but I cannot help but feel that I should be with my fiancé.


I have not yet heard from my fiancé, and it is well beyond our regular call time. Needless to say, I am quite worried.


I am sick with worry. Still no word from Kristy, and I have been unable to establish comms with any member of my family. GCC reports what I have already suspected. That a biological attack has happened. The military has seized and/or blocked most frequencies. The situation is quite confused. No one is quite sure who has attacked who. The biological agents were released in a clandestine manner. It seems to be a silent war, but people are dieing around the globe more quickly and in larger numbers than in any other war man has ever known.


GCC has informed me that a return flight to Heaven has been indefinitely postponed. I am not sure how to take this news. Does this mean they will still come when they can? When the crisis has ended? Even after a terrible war, Conglomerate will capitalize, and I am sure they will still value this station. But how long will this be?
I must do some serious re-calculating of my supplies here. I can’t concentrate though. My mind is running in different directions and I am stuck in this tin can.

(Observation note: Subject has broken from outlined routine.)


I awoke to a piercing alarm. High radiation detected. I thought it was probably a solar flare at first. It was not.

Lucky me. I got a view from Heaven of a global thermonuclear exchange. The trails behind little specs that were missiles. I zoomed in on a few of them with the observation lenses mounted in the hotel windows, but didn’t want to get caught looking through one during a flash. And there were more than enough flashes. I don’t know how many. Some of the mushroom clouds were larger than others. New York. It’s gone.

I have been unable to contact GCC.

I have suffered vomiting, spasms, and convulsions as a result of worry and the shock of what I have witnessed. I have broken into the locked medical supply, and self-medicated hoping to dull the symptoms. DAY THIRTY_EIGHT

I have been unable to sleep without medication. If my calculations are correct, I should be able to survive up here for about two years with the supplies on hand, but I do not know what regular maintenance procedures might have to be done in that time, or even if I have the supplies to do them. Perhaps I should close off the other modules. I hate the thought of being even more confined though. The awesome feeling of freedom up here is long gone now. I have never felt more trapped or more helpless. I miss Kristy. I wonder if she made it. I wonder a lot of things now.

(Observation note: Subject’s routine has become completely erratic. Personal hygiene maintenance not being performed regularly. Dangerous use of medications.)


I have refrained from touching the alcoholic beverages up to now, lest I lose control of myself, but I have decided to try to escape myself for a while. I am going to get drunk, turn on some old comedy movies, and fire up one of these Fleshbots to see how well they work. The view outside is terrible. There is nearly complete cloud cover over Earth, spiked with the most vicious storms I think anyone has ever seen.

(Observation note: Daily log no longer maintained after DAY 42.)  


Picked up some radio chatter, but did not understand the language. Unable to determine if it was live or recorded. Ran through some systems-checks I have been neglecting, everything seems fine.

Victoria is good company, but she doesn’t conversate very well. Well, she’s better than no company at all anyway. They really need to come up with a new generation of these things. I will be putting that in my report. She’s quite robotic.


(Observation note: Detachment from reality becoming more prevalent. Severe emotional swings, deviant activity.)  


I once went to an air-show, in 1988. Oldsmobile, Delta 88. Crazy eight crazy eight, must have got home late. Someone ate my dinner.


Contact!!! I have spoken with real people! There were three people on-board the International Space-Station when the calamity started. Their comms had been damaged by a fire in their station, in which one of their crewmembers died, sadly. They managed to survive however, and trapped a passing satellite to pirate parts from to restore their comms. I am ecstatic to talk with someone after all this time. But there is even better news. They have re-established contact with Houston. The situation on the surface is said to be terrible, yet NASA has been planning a shuttle mission to recover them. I am promised a rendezvous as well!!! I am going to be rescued by NASA!

I wonder about Kristy. I doubted that I would ever get the chance to search for her. Now I am wondering once again if I will find her alive. 

(Observation note: Stark behavioral changes noted. Some semblance of routine and normal activity restored.)  


There is no rescue. There was a mishap when the NASA shuttle docked with ISS. I could see the explosion from here. Debris came my direction, while other pieces burned into the Earth’s atmosphere. Pieces of debris damaged the water storage tanks, which is now leaking uncontrollably. I estimate that my water supply will expire in less than a week. I have decided to relieve myself of my command, before I do something drastic to this station. Perhaps someone will one day return to this station, and recover what has been documented here. I have elected to inject myself with an overdose of morphine, while enjoying the view from Seventh Heaven. It should induce a painless, ethereal transit into death in a matter of minutes.


(Observation note: Subject completed self-injection of substance. Radio-set is heard echoing through passageways, after injection complete, with broken transmissions. Subject begins thrashing, hearing the message, but lethargy sets in quickly. Subject is unable to respond. Complete radio transmission is as follows: “Heaven Space Resort, come in. Do you copy Attomant…? Come in Heaven Station. This is Commander Tazin, do you read me…? Attomant…are you receiving this message? If you can hear me, be on notice. Shuttle Angelica is operational. Repeat, Shuttle Angelica operational. Launch sequence initiated. Rendezvous to occur in twenty-two hours. I am coming to get you Attomant. I hope you can hear me. I have someone else here with a message……Atto, it’s Kristy. Can you hear me……?”)



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