When you finally regain consciousness, you’re staring straight at the bloodshot eyes of a dead cosmonaut floating by…

Becoming an astronaut was your lifelong dream. You had no idea that a dream could turn into a nightmare this quickly. Help was almost literally a million miles away. It was supposed to be a routine operation. You trained for entering the space station so many times and nothing ever went wrong but this time nothing went right…

You and your team were very excited about taking over this Russian space station for the next few months. You thought you were prepared for just about anything, but nothing could prepare you for this. Your ears are still ringing from the explosion and you still feel a bit dizzy, but your team is looking at you to take action. All communication with earth is down so there will be no help from that end.

Everybody is still in shock, not only from the explosion but because of the three dead Russians floating in front of you. They are not only dead Russian cosmonauts, they were supposed to be your guides in the space station and even more importantly, your interpreters. They were supposed to show you the ropes in the MIR II for a few weeks and help you to translate all the essential stuff.

Everything around you is in Russian: the instruction manuals, the signs, the posters. Even the computer voice on the intercom is in Russian and it seems to repeat itself a couple of times ‘Kislorod postavka shest’desyat odin minut, Kislorod postavka shest’des odin minut’. You grab your little Russian dictionary and translate as best you can. You’re pleasantly surprised how quickly you find the translation but the outcome is less pleasant ‘oxygen supply 61 minutes’. You quickly tell your team what the new situation is and that the rescue shuttle is your only chance of survival. You know how to activate the computer, but then the computer asks to enter a password… The intercom voice speaks again saying: ‘Shest’desyat minut’, you know right away that ‘shest’desyat’ means sixty. You just learned your first word of Russian…