“Candidate 36-8-B! Begin evasive maneuvers now!” Not one second later after Frau Prugel gives the command that a giant metal sphere just barely grazes your left shoulder. you can hear the familiar crunch sound of bones turning to crisps just before Candidate 27-1-F screams in agony somewhere behind you.
The Test this time, aptly named “High-speed Kinetic Maneuvering”, includes one of the worst possible scenarios: you are to evacuate the surface of Pluto with the clunky launcher probe, all the while avoiding death raining from above. By death it is meant that countless debrisare falling from the Hyperion after having impeded the wrath of a more advanced space-faring species, or any kind of hazard that might completely obliterate the main spaceship. The probe has to survive at all costs as the data carried within could advance mankind to unknown feats of technology.
All of that comes as little to no comfort to you as you desperately avoid giant metal balls all the while wearing a cardboard replica of the probe and counterfeit shoes. It is usually strongly encouraged that you become one with your surroundings and tools and here they mean it literally, the astronaut becomes the tool in order to fulfill his role.
“Someone bring a stretcher and take 27-1-F away before he gets hit again and leaves an even more unsightly mark!” you hear Frau Prugel say.
“Increase output to 200 km!” The projectiles are now more of a giant blur of screaming metal as opposed to oversized bowling balls rolling forwards.
Sideways half-step! Duck! Roll to the side! Quick! Lunge before your head gets torn off!
The exit platform is just within reach when you feel the most annoying itch on your right temple and as you raise your hand to subconsciously subdue it for the most fleeting of instances, you feel as if you could touch the incoming projectile. And you do!
The dull-gray bullet seems to be gently stopped by your hand?!?
Elation and new found power, you have surpassed your human condition, mountains can be moved now, the vastness of space in the grip of your hand as it flies away splat against the concrete wall behind you.
When in a situation so dire, the human body reacts by releasing a surge of adrenaline throughout the entire nervous system. Among others, your reaction speed and perception of surroundings is dilated to such an extent, that time, seemingly, comes to halt. But while adrenal responses give rise to the most amazing of bursts in the human strength, you are just a frail human: in front of high speed metal fragments you might as well be made of paper.
Before you can get used to your new stump, you pass out and fall down at the exit ramp,
twitching and bleeding.