Follow up to this question: How would earth goverments respond to killing of most of a colony to keep the rest alive long enough for rescue but with a different approach.
The same scenario occurs. The first colony to mars suffers a disaster. To clarify points form last time this is an early colony designed only to prove that mars colonization is possible. It has no children, only 1,000 highly skilled men and women who signed up for a dangerous proof-of-concept mission. These men and women come from multiple nations and was launched as multinational effort, spearheaded by most of the big superpower economic nations.
The colony has been on mars for a year or two. It has managed to create a system that can produce sufficient food to provide for all colonists, even a slight excess. Things are looking good when martian weather strikes, the equivalent of a tornado or other natural disaster strikes the dome, a freak accident as the odds of such a storm occurring and striking the small colony were absurdly low. The hydroponics area is destroyed, as is much of their com equipment.
They know that Earth will realize they lost coms within a day or two when they don't make their schedule communications and start to organize a rescue mission. However, it will take some time to organize and reach them and they lack the food to survive that long.
The governor makes a difficult decision, he arranges for 600 people to be killed to save the remaining 400 from starving. He arranges to poison their food supply, without telling anyone beyond a very select few required to enact the plan because he knows some of the citizens would not cooperate. He uses a semi-random approach. He selects some that must survive (like anyone with knowledge on how to keep what limited food production they still have running), and a few that will definitely die due to other illness and any who have had an emotional breakdown from the stress and are no longer functioning. He also selects a few groups of which he needs to ensure at least one survive, for instance one of 3 trained in servicing the life support must survive etc. Beyond those he picks to save to preserve the colony he arranges for most of the rest to have a random chance of being poisoned. In total he decided the absolute fate of ~75 citizens, the rest are given a random chance rather or not their poisoned.
On other catch, he chooses to poison himself, knowing that he will almost certainly be sentenced to death for this decision were he to survive. He does, however, ensure his second in command will not be poisoned since someone needs to lead. He does not explicitly tell his second of his plan, though it's clear that the second could easily infer it was going on the governor orders him not to ask any questions and simply focus on learning everything needed to prepare him for keeping the colony alive until rescue comes. those few others who knew about the plan are all poisoned as well.
When rescue arrives most of the 400 not poisoned are alive but close to starvation, in fact another 100 or so die before the situation stabilizes, since the rescue mission did not know to bring a stockpile of food and even though they could help fix the hydroponics to start growing food it would take some time before the colony could again sustain itself. It is impossible to evacuate all of the colonists back home with the first rescue ship, so many are left in a partially repaired colony.
The Earth people have been watching this news during the many months it took for rescue mission to be set up, sent, and reach mars. During this time they had mostly given up on any of the martians surviving, until word comes of their partial survival and of the slaughter that happened.
My question, how will society respond to this news? All the collaborators who arranged the killing are already dead, though the second in command, who was chosen to be saved, was in a position where he likely could have inferred something was going on, knowing the governor clearly had a horrible plan he wasn't talking about and didn't expect to live after it etc.
First, will the world lash out at the second in command who was saved, and did lead the colony quite successfully in crises until rescue arrived by trying to punish him?
Secondly, what will the cultural and political ramifications of one of the worlds first huge multinational attempts to reach out to space failing like this have? How will the survivors be treated, particularly those unknowingly chosen by the governor to survive without being part of the deadly lottery? Will hostilities be sparked over it, or will they world unite around those that survived what they had long ago decided must be an unsurvivable situation?
Will the mars colony experiment survive, or will they give up trying to repair the rest of the colony and instead evacuate the rest of the survivors home over subsequent missions? Keep in mind ships sent to mars, for evacuation or with supplies to do a more perminate repair to the dome, are extremely expensive.