The shuttle had crashed into the surface of Mercury. Within minutes of the disaster, injuries claimed the lives of the navigator and geologist.
The commander and pilot somehow managed to survive. Repairs were not possible and the communication equipment was hopelessly ruined. There was simply no chance for a rescue.
Facing certain death, the astronauts chuckled at their trivial fortune: the shuttle wreckage rested at the terminator line of the planet. Scorching day and freezing night existed on either side of a cool kilometer of twilight.
Each man carefully donned a pressure suit, exited the mangled hatch, and dutifully shook hands.
The commander sauntered into the gathering darkness.
The pilot wished to feel the sun on his face one final time.