The mission started with a phone call.
that phone call said, the iron pour was done, even though we hadn't left the launch pad yet. This put a damper on the relatively high mood of the first three minutes of the mission. Much standing around and foot shuffling commenced with no single person willing to take command of the mission, give us direction, point the way, lead the pack. Cold and wet started setting in, a vote was taken. Watching the 1978 blockbuster hit Convoy at Fort Inman won (this is my mission summary, you don't think it's accurate YOU write it) and after some more standing in the cold and wet we launched. Well, almost. With a courageous cry, a young man rises from the fold, saying, "Mechanical!" Evil Twin got the first and only mechanical of the night in the first ten feet of the mission. only a mini-mechanical that took less than a minute to fix.
About this time it was realized that nobody among us was a navigator. Like, literally, no navigator. somehow it slipped. I guess even if you have a job called Deck Officer, you need a Meta Deck Officer to assign Deck Officer to someone. This is how Enron got the way it did ya know. With no navigator, no direction to the mission, cold, rain, and a mechanical in the first ten feet, this was the point where skunk gave up. Some might say he "wussed out" but not me. I say he bravely headed back to the fort for some warm TV and beer.
Then! more standing around freezing with no direction while some pilots disappeared into the fort saying something about needing radios that i didn't quite get. Somehow in the next couple of minutes I get handed a radio and made the default navigator. Forward! I cry, while still waiting for someone to come out of the fort. I declared the mission a failure before we started and we finally roll out down the hill, already down two pilots, and determined... well not so much determined as just kinda hoping, to have a good time. time.... time.
Now remember, technically I'm the navigator, though not so many people really knew that. At some point as I'm towards the back of the pack, I hear Mosquito (tailgunner) yelling into his radio, "Slow down" I turned to him and asked him (seeing as I was the only one with a radio,) "Are you talking to me?"
Despite this we arrived at 1369 without incident. Stopped because I was already cold at this point, but I guess most other folks were doing alright. I decided to lay down the law, so I told Evil Twin, "Dude, everyone else is allowed to be in front, except you. you ride too fast, if you go in front you're outta the gang. porno squad too!" Have you ever ridden with Evil Twin? The kid can NOT ride slow.
Though Evil Twin did throw the 3 Inches of Blood into the stereo at that point and all rocked out. (I think it sounds better on his crappy little speakers.)
We then proceeded to nosepicker's former place of brain programming, and derbied pretty unofficially, no ribbons, no winners. and drank piss-colored beverages.
At this point Samurai and the maggot took off, down 4 pilots total. Which is a shame, because THAT'S when the mission started to get good.
On Threespeed's suggestion, we proceeded over to that light art exhibit at MIT, (figuring it's vaguely on the way to the time travelers convention we heard so much about) and wandered around that thing looking for the pole that activated the kick drum. Meanwhile I tried communicating with the locals via the radio repeating, "We come from the future, where is your barbecue?" The only responses though regarded cleaning the men's room.
Following this, we proceed to what would eventually be our final destination: The Time Travelers Convention. Arriving there, and finding only two people building a landing pad (for the time travelers, not us) next to a transport of the type "delorean" (which looked rather pitiful and small next to the awesome bulk of ships like annihilation.) The hopeful-recipients-of-great-wealth-from-the-future informed us that the travelers were not due until 10 o'clock. after inquiring about some details (are the SURE the travelers would know where to land? did you guys REALLY just get your backyard barbecue posted to the front page of the NY Times?) we decided to kill some time until 10 pm (remember this mission started at 7:30!) at the local ice cream purveyor. because we were cold. and wet. makes sense, no?
At Tosci's Mars smooth-talked the staff into hooking us all up with free ice cream/hot chocolate/delicious varieties of things, though I guess most pilots failed to take advantage of this. By this time it was already 15 minutes to ten. Nosepicker starts to panic, "We have to go! what if people from the future arrive and give everyone there a million dollars!?" Evil Twin replies, "Dude, I'm eating my ice cream, and there aren't going to be people from the future, just a bunch of nerds staring at a volleyball court." Nosepicker: "Yeah, but what IF!?"
Other pilots started to look nervous at this prospect too, so we made Evil Twin finish his ice cream and we saddled up to head back in to the nerd fest.
I should mention at this point in the ride the only female pilot left was Wrench, who, upon cross-examination, claimed to be having fun despite all the cold/wet/testosterone/nerds
When we arrived again, the nerds were in full force, hundreds upon hundreds of them (though the "delorean" was gone. maybe whoever had driven it there got scared?) All staring very intently at the volleyball court. As 10 o'clock approached they all closed in tightly around the landing pad, someone set off the dry ice smoke (to maximize the flux dispersal?) The rain started again... Nothing happened.
Weeellll, at this point the nerds were all looking a little disappointed, And THAT's when they turned to us with their beady little eyes, desperate for something to fulfill their time traveling fantasies. "We're from the future!" I lied, "We bring you our superior bicycle technology." They looked skeptical but milled around the ships pawing the technology so beyond their wildest imaginings. A local Earth reporter started asking us questions. I pointed out that the failure of other people from the future to arrive very likely indicates that humans do not survive long enough to solve the problem of time travel. Other nerds overhearing this did not seem pleased at this prospect. One said, "You mean I won't ever get to use a holodeck?" Well, no, that didn't happen. But you could almost HEAR them thinking that.
Being from the Weekly Dig, the reporter asked us to have our picture taken "giving the finger from the future." We were happy to oblige, and after briefly reviewing the proper procedure for the porno squad sign, we formed up and showed these earth people what the finger will look like in the future.
And that is pretty much where this tale ends. The nerds dispersed, and we traveled "Back... To the Future" and landed safely at the REAL landing pad around 11 pm! sheesh.