[ZINE] YOU BELONG TO ME

Thank you, gentlemen, for coming. I know this can be a difficult situation because … uh … nothing like this has ever happened before. Because of the international nature of this case, it’s a true testament to the human spirit that so many fine detectives such as yourselves can come from all over the globe and put politics and jurisdictions aside so we can cooperate on this investigation. 

Now that I’m done with my friendly little speech, I say we dive right into the tapes. Because of the long, sequential nature of the video, our team has cut it down to give us all the relevant information we need for our investigation. 

I’ll give you fair warning, though—some of this stuff is highly, and I cannot stress this enough, HIGHLY disturbing. So, consider yourselves warned. 

Alright, roll the tape. 

Day 0

Hey everyone, this is Trevor Johnston here, it is September 22, 2019, and this is the first official entry of my International Space Station journey! I decided I’m going to keep a video journal of my whole six months up there so you guys can all get a taste of a day-in-a-life of an ISS astronaut.

I know you didn’t ask for it, but here it is anyway—a little bit about myself. I was born and raised in the great city of Victoria, British Columbia. That’s right! O, Canada, and all that stuff, eh? Anyway, for as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be an astronaut. That kind of involves A LOT of work—especially math and science—so I guess you can say I grew up a bit of a nerd. Or a lot a bit of nerd. I don’t know how you’d say it.

But, long story short, I’m fulfilling my dream. I’m being assigned to a six-month expedition to the ISS, and my primary focus will be on the robotics side of things. NASA has this awesome robot—they call it Robonaut 2, or R2 for you Star Wars fans out there—and I’m going to do a lot of work on that guy to make sure he does what he’s intended to do. Or she. It? I haven’t asked yet!

Anyway, I’m here at Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan getting ready to launch up in a shuttle called a Soyuz. Crazy part is, it can take as little as six hours for me to get up there. I’m launching up with a couple of Russians who will be working on expanding ISS for Mars. Awesome stuff. I think they should only be there for about four months—shifts up there are a little tricky. But there’s as many as six full-time crew and as little as three at all times. And we science the hell out of it.

So, get ready! There’s gonna be a lot of science and a lot of tedium, but hopefully, you’ll find this journey fun.

Day 3

Hey guys, Trevor here. Now that I think I’ve got my bearings around here, I thought I’d give you a quick crew introduction. The ISS is kind of a maze of tubes and nodes and modules and what-not, and I’m still kinda trying to learn my way around the place. The craziest part is trying to get used to no left or right or up or down. As you can see, the walls in these rooms are covered with science equipment. Kinda like my bedroom growing up as a kid. But that way, no space is wasted in space! Pretty good line. Yeah? No? Ok, anyway …

So, I’m in Node 2 right now where some of us sleep, and I’m heading over to Node 1 right now where we all kinda hang out and grab our food, and right now it’s our agreed-upon “dinner time,” so I thought it would be a good time to meet the crew.

So, this here is Laurel K., and she’s from the States. Say hi, Laurel!

“Aloha!”

Right, Laurel is from Hawaii, so she had to give you that Hawaiian greeting from space. Or are you telling me to go away? I can never tell with that word.

“It’s all up to your interpretation!”

Well, that might be worse. Anyway, we all call her K because her last name is Kamaka viva olay or something like that, and “K” is a lot easier than that mess. But she likes tiny spaces so that’s why she went from an island in the sea to an island in space.

“Ha ha, great one, Trevor.”

Thanks, thanks. Anyway, this guy over here is Stephen Windsor, and he’s from jolly old England. Tell everyone hello, Steve.

“Good evening, chaps!”

Right, right, top o’ the morning and cheerios and all that. Steve, how does someone from England actually make it to space? Aren’t you still trying to build a boat to the moon?

“You’re a right old comedian, Trev. And you should talk—Canadian.”

Yeah, yeah. Ok, so this guy over here is Eisaku Tanaka, and as you can guess from his name, he’s from Kansas.

“Very clever.”

Ok, yeah, he’s Japanese but still speaks perfect Canadian, so it’s kinda hard to mess with him. So Eisaku is here studying organic plant growth in space, yada yada, big green thumb nerd. Steve is—I don’t really know what you do here, Steve?

“It’s all quite complicate and very sciency, but you can call me the station’s maintenance man.”

Ok, so Steve is our janitor. No, but really, this guy makes sure the station keeps running along nicely and, while we all more or less have to know how to keep the systems running in order, Steve is the guru. So, thanks for being smart, Steve.

“You are most welcome.”

And K here is a technician and does a lot of the work outside the station. She’s a master with the robot arms that help dock the ships and modules we need to take in new crew and new food and all that. She also gets to go outside the most. Special, K!

“I told you that nickname won’t work.”

It’s already working. So, moving on, I’m gonna snake down here to the Russian side where those Russkis hang out. Like I said, a lot of what they do is work on the Mars expansion. Pretty cool stuff. You can kinda see here the tunnel going to the Russian side gets really narrow and it gets a little awkward when two of us try to go through here and … ok so here’s Yevgeny Andreyev and Alex Zharkov. Say hello, fellas!

“Zdravstvuyte!”

Gesundheit! So, now you all know the crew just about as well as I do. Until tomorrow, everyone!

Day 10

Hello, once again. I’m getting kinda tired of saying hello, to be honest. I might just get right into these videos from now on.

Anyway, I hope you guys enjoyed the tour of the station yesterday, and I hope I was able to answer some of your questions. You guys emailed … a lot about using the bathroom in space. So, I hope this opens your world up a little bit when the video makes it back to earth, you freaks.

I figured today I could take you guys through my workout routine here a little bit. The thing about living in zero gravity is that we lose our muscle mass and bone density if we’re not careful, so we’ve got that stuff I showed you yesterday to keep in shape.

I usually like to start out with a warm-up on the bike, so let me head back to the U.S. lab and …

“… Been here all along so why can’t you see-ee-ee, You belong with me-ee-ee …”

Oh geez. I guess K is already on the bike. She brought an iPod jammed with Taylor Swift songs and she loves to just belt them out while she’s exercising. Not my first choice, but K really has a great voice. So, any of you music business tycoons listening, take note!

But I guess I’ll take myself to the A-red and show you guys some of the benching and squats I do. The cool thing is, I can do this one-legged squat since … you know, no gravity.

Day 49

Today we say goodbye to Steve! We’re gonna miss you, Steve.

“Cheer up and come visit me in England for some beer!”

I would love to grab some beer as long as you’re paying.

Day 94

Merry Christmas from space, everybody! Looks like K is over in her room across from mine talking to her family. Hey, K! Forget your family, tell my people Merry Christmas in your magical Hawaiian language!

“Mele Kalikimaka is Hawaii’s way, to say …”

Ok, ok, I didn’t ask for the song and dance routine. But you really do have a great voice! Anyway, I hope you’ve got some nice presents! We got some delivered to us from our families. Good to know they haven’t forgotten us up here in space.

Day 122

Today, we’ve got to say goodbye to Yevgeny and Alex and, sadly enough, Eisaku is leaving too. Yev and Alex were supposed to leave anyway, but doctors back down on home base saw some concerning stuff in Eisaku’s latest CAT scan, so he’s being recalled a month early. Gonna miss you around here.

“It is a shame to be called back so early, but I feel my time here was well-spent.”

So, it looks like it’ll just be me and Special K up here for a little less than a month while the next expedition heads up. This doesn’t mean I’m about to become a Taylor Swift fan.

Day 125

Since we’re a little short-staffed up here, I’ve got to master the robot arms so we can keep taking in supplies. Here to be my sensei is the ISS’s very own, Special K.

“I may be your sensei, but I’m no Special K.”

Well, it’s a democracy up here, and right now it’s a 50-50 split, so until I’m outvoted, I’m sticking with it. Now, why don’t you tell our viewers what we’re about to do.

“Alright so, you might have seen a giant robotic arm or two on your tour, and this is one of the consoles where we control it right here in the U.S. lab. This is where Trev and I spend a lot of time—Trev annoys me, I ignore him.”

Ha ha, very funny.

“Anyway, this console right here controls the arm that helps us dock transports and supply ships onto the station, and this console behind it is actually a training sim so we can practice and make perfect any arm ops we have to do. So, Trev is going to be spending a lot of time playing this game. Ready?”

Ready, Captain K.

“I guess that’s a little better than the other one. Want me to hold the camera?”

Oh man, I don’t know if I’m ready for full-frontal, but sure. Ok so, this controls my pitch … and this swings it around … the clamp and … oh no. Sim failed. Our poor supplies are crashing and burning. Retry?

Ok, I think … careful and … ugh, this friggin’ arm!

“Here let me … I’ll let the camera float here for a second and show you. You’ve gotta give it a little more finesse …”

Whoa, there, K! A little touchy there on the hands! No means no!

“Oh, shut up. This is the easiest way to get you used to the feel of the thing…”

Yeah, I definitely feel it now.

Day 127

Ground control to Major Tom … or is it Major Tom to ground control? I don’t know. What I do know is that life up here in the ISS isn’t as lonely as I thought it would be up here with K. We both have a lot in common with our robotics backgrounds. We spent hours the other day just talking about our lives … how we got into this, comparing academic careers, et cetera, but man. It’s been great having this time to ourselves. She’s a great friend … I hope we get to see each other after our expedition is over.

Day 128

So, I’m sure some of you are wondering, what do ISS astronauts do in their spare time? Well, what little spare time we have, we like to come down here in the Cupola and gaze back at our home planet. K and I are down here taking a break from arm training. Robotic arm training, not our actual arms. But that’s important too! Anyway, say hi, Special K!

“Hello, world! We’re looking at you right now!”

Yes, we are. We’ve come up with a game where we try to guess where over the Earth we are when we come down here. So far K’s got me beat 20-15, but I sense a comeback. We orbit the Earth a little more than 15 times in a 24-hour period, so I’ve got a fighting chance! So, where are we right now, let’s see … uhh … I think that’s—

“South America!”

Whoa! Jinx, how do we score that?

“Oh, come on, I beat you by a good point-six seconds.”

Whatever! I’ve got the video evidence right here. Anyway, it honestly took me a bit get over the fact that these heavy chunks of glass are all that’s keeping us from the vacuum of space, but you get used to it quickly because, well, it’s gorgeous in here. Looking down at the Earth, I mean. But it is somewhat romantic?

“Wow, Trev, not something you say with a married woman around. You might want to hope my husband doesn’t hear that part.”

Yeah, I might want to edit that.

Day 129

I’ve got to head over to the Russian side really quick because the comms are acting a little strange. That’s where we handle a lot of problems. In fact, the Russian part is the oldest part of the ISS. I hate going through this PMA tunnel … it’s so cramped and—oh hey, K! Fancy meeting you here.

“Hey Trev, let me squeeze right past you—and, wow this is awkward.”

Yeah, sorry, I should’ve stopped myself. Hard to with this non-gravity floaty momentum. What’re you up to?

“I was just checking to see if the Russians left any Stroganov packets in there. Don’t mind me.”

I won’t. I definitely won’t. So I, uh … man guys. Sorry, I’m a little distracted from the brush-up. Her hair smelled—anyway. Back to the comms thing and … ok be real with me, is she flirting with me?

Day 130

I can’t get this out of my head. It’s just K and I up here. Literally we’re 250 miles above anyone else. It gets lonely up here. Is she into me? Am I misreading things? I mean, like, the other day when she was grabbing my hands to guide me on the arm and the way she brushed by in the PMA …

Day 132

Alright so, I’m doing some more work on the R2, and I think I’ve made a breakthrough. It’s a lot more mobile now, so I’m gonna try to get it to do a favor for me. I’ve got this little note, “You + M = Cupola rematch?” and I’m gonna see if it can deliver it to K. Wish me luck!

Day 135

I really think K and I might have something. I just don’t know how to make sure. Crazy! We’re literally the only people up here in this cramped space for about a week-and-a-half.

Day 136

I can’t stop thinking about her. It tortures me. We have so much in common. We sleep across from each other. We’re the first thing the other sees when we wake up for our shift. I can’t imagine life without her now. The funny thing is … you know how I told you guys the urine processor filters out the water and makes it drinkable again? I’m literally drinking her and she’s drinking me. We’re keeping each other alive with our most intimate parts. I’m getting goosebumps thinking about it.

Day 139

I had a terrible thought. K was there on the bike like normal, singing with that beautiful voice. Much better than Taylor Swift. Anyway, she’s sitting there, feet clipped to the bike. There’s nothing she can do to get away if I just, kinda, move up and try to kiss her? Or maybe when she’s strapped to the bungee harness of the treadmill?

Day 143

Guys, I might have screwed up any chances I have. I found her at the A-red today, so I tried to show her how to have better squatting form—EXACTLY like she did with me on the robot arm, mind you—and I got up close to her and she freaked out. I’m really worried. I gotta take it a little slower, I guess? We don’t have a lot of time left. I might “accidentally” cause a glitch in the comms to make sure she doesn’t send back any concerns to Earth …

Day 145

It’s Valentine’s Day. It’s now or never.

Hey, K! Happy Valentine’s Day! I fixed us up a little something to eat.

“No thanks, Trev. I’m not very hungry. Feel free to eat whatever.”

Oh, come on, K. Laurel. I really think we should eat together.

“I really think that’s not a good idea, Trev. I hope you don’t have the wrong idea about our relationship.”

Really? How would you explain it? Because YOU’VE been leading me to believe something.

“Trev, really, we’re just on the same expedition. Co-workers.”

Then what was all that with the arm? Why have you been—

“Trev, anything I’ve done with you, I literally would do with any of my co-workers. It’s not—”

Oh, so I’m not special now? Can’t you see, Laurel? You belong to me.

“Trev, I have to go now. Stop following me.”

But Laurel, I feel like that song is for us. About us. Give me a ch—

“I said stop FOLLOWING me. Trevor, let me go! LET GO!”

Laurel, I just think—we fit so well together, we have so much in common—

“LET ME GO!”

If you can’t see it my way, I think I can make you—

“TREVOR STOP!”

K … what … what did you hit me with? Why—I can’t move? Did you duct tape me? Laurel? WHAT THE FUCK YOU BITCH! LAUREL!

“Trevor, I can’t do this anymore. I can’t. We can’t be together on this station, I—”

YOU FUCKING CUNT! IS THIS HOW YOU WANT ME? Wait … what are we doing in the JEM? Don’t … no … Laurel … DON’T OPEN THAT HATCH! LAUREL I SWEAR—

“Goodbye, Trevor.


To anyone watching, this is Laurel Kamawiwoole of the International Space Station. A few weeks ago, all but two of our expedition members left, leaving me up here with Trevor Johnston. Trevor’s behavior toward me became increasingly uncomfortable and unsafe. He—he tried to—well, it’s all here on the tapes. Or maybe some of it is. I couldn’t take it anymore.

I tried to call back home, but the comms went down—the timing couldn’t be more suspicious.

For my own safety, I had to eject him out of the hatch located in the JEM. There was nothing else I could do. I feared for my life around him. Please, if there is any compassion in you, please know I had no ill intent toward him. I just hope you can forgive me when I get back home. Jay, Susan, Daniel, if you’re all listening, just know I love you and mommy will see you soon.”