Summary: A crew of interplanetary archaeologists is threatened when an alien creature impregnates one of their members, causing her to turn homicidal and murder them one by one.
Countries: UKLanguages: English
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The project involved the creation of a permanent or semi-permanent base station on a distant planet where 12 crew members could study the planet. The project does not have clear branding, marketing or promotional material. No project brief could be obtained.
The personnel establishment did include some diversity and a good balance of male to female crew. Allowing/encouraging stable personal relationships between crew would provide a good basis for inter-personnel support although the review notes that on one occasion one such couple took the opportunity afforded by a safety alarm activating in a science laboratory to have sexual relations in a clearly dangerous environment. There is a lack of LGBTQIA+ diversity which makes the crew not representative of the population of Earth which they represent. Similarly there does not appear to be full representation from all BAME categories. There did not seem to be any mechanism by which couples working together in such close proximity could safely separate their personal and working relationship. The site visit showed evidence of an example where a female partner in a relationship was belittled and humiliated by multiple crew members for correctly attempting to uphold a station wide lockdown.
Crew safety training provision should be audited and formally evaluated. The site visit evidenced disregard for faulty communications equipment, with a blame culture that evidenced as bullying and harassment. There did not appear to be any policy for formal escalation in the event that individuals disagreed with the station commander. Few crew members appeared to have any expertise or understanding of the protective firearms that the base was equipped with. The security related to an explosives store may have been inadequate. Prepared food in trays were observed to be stored and transported throughout the base in a manner that did not make clear the expiration dates, storage requirements or required handling checks associated with food safety.
Equipment was found to be severely lacking in quality or absent. This was particularly true in the personal protective equipment (PPE) category. The site visit showed multiple cases where suits designed to protect the wearer from a harsh and unfavourable environment were poorly fitted, too large, featured large gaps that were not possible for the user to close, helmets without a safety release catch, and were too easily torn off by predatory aliens to expose the crew member underneath. See also the previous notes about personal communications equipment.
There was a distinct lack of archaeological equipment, techniques or archaeology which I find particularly curious since the entire premise of the base was to facilitate archaeology.
Walkways to and from the base were insufficiently wide for a single unladen crew member to traverse safely and did not include provision for safety railings or gates. Coupled with a tendency to dispose of old equipment to the sides of these walkways which is directly in contravention of multiple policies, these factors contributed to a fatal event where a crew member was pushed off the walkway and the foot of this crew member subsequently became entrapped as a direct consequence. Unfortunately the crew member perished due to further complications around unintended usage of salvage equipment and an attempt to extract their foot by severing it (see also notes about training).
There appeared to be no quarantine procedure which was instrumental in bringing on site a number of toxic crystals, crew members that had been exposed to toxic environments and at least one crew member that had been impregnated by an alien lifeform. The airlock featured a curious lack of control in that the outer door could not be closed remotely or from within the base complex and this was the sole cause of a number of “never events” during the site visit. A number of tunnels in the base were poorly maintained, were unsigned and featured numerous shelves of what I can only describe as “unboxed clutter”. Garbage appeared to be stored in a subsection of the base and was not adequately secured against being used as a nest by a pregnant crew member.
Unfortunately a number of other items on the site visit itinerary could not be discussed or root caused due to the untimely death of all the crew on the base.