It was cold. Skylar’s body was becoming less malleable, so they grew fur on better skin, thicker, warmer. Blinking they had their first glimpse of their crashed ship. The red glow of the emergency lights, howling wind coming through the holes punched in the hull.
“Computer?” Skylar wasn’t surprised at the silence, so they pushed themselves up, hunched on four legs. The wind and the cold still bothered Skylar, so they looked around. They knew this model, this Space Hopper 4K.
Carefully picking their way through the hall, trying to avoid getting blasted in the face by the freezing air, Skylar made their way to the main control room. At least, they made it to the doorway. The walls and the ceiling torn to shreds, a giant icicle hanging in front of the main screen.
Another long trudge took Skylar over busted pips and cracked floors to the escape pods. Popping open the trunk inside, they pulled out the emergency supplies: food, water, tarp, knife, compass, and Universal Translator. They used the tarp to cover the broken seal between the pod and the rest of the ship, giving Skylar a chance to warm up.
“Warm up, maybe the wind will die down, and I can explore a little. And if I’m careful, the food and water will last me a week.”
Patience alone couldn’t save Skylar. As the wind never tired and the cold never abated. Past the point of no return, Skylar tried to venture beyond the busted ship. The storm raged on, the dry snow sucking their moisture out of them, even through the thick fur. Sucking on small snowballs, heading as far south as they could... only to fail the simulation due to dehydration.
“For those of you who failed,” the Principal tapped one of the simulation doors, “write an essay on what you would have done differently in order to survive. Due at the end of the week, before you get your chance to show us.”
Skylar already had plenty of ideas on what to do to increase their odds of survival.
Word count: 346