[Special thanks to photographer Ben Broomfield. His other photos of the event are available here.]
Quinns: I’ve never been so excited by the sound of a printer.
Inside the cramped confines of my spacecraft, the machine’s senile clunking makes my heart skip a beat. I drop to my knees, lowering myself before the machine in sweaty supplication. By positioning my head beneath my desk and rotating it 90 degrees, I’m able to start reading the paper before it’s ejected.
The printer is my only lifeline to the three competing space agencies outside my ship – the Americans, the Russians and the Chinese – who are trying to bring me home. Only they have the power to scan the space around me, providing the information that I need to navigate a deadly hellscape of black holes, stars and asteroids. Using their messages, I might just make it back to Earth.
I recognise the Russian insignia on the printed sheet. They’re my most helpful allies. This will be helpful! The printing finishes and I lift it closer to my lamp, banging my head on the desk on the way up. It reads:
“QUESTION FROM RUSSIA: WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE FLAVOUR OF ICE CREAM?”