Vladmimir and Joe were two male astronauts who survived the plague. During their months trapped on the International Space Station, they both became the lovers of Ciba Weber. When the Soyuz re-entry vessel started to burn on landing, they insisted on pushing her to safety (even though their lives were more valuable for the survival of the human race) as she was pregnant with Vladimir's son. Both men died in the subsequent explosion. When Ciba's baby is born, it is revealed to be Vladimir's son, to whom Natalia often refers to as "The Son of Russia."