Saturn in Opposition
"Why would you DO that? There's nothing up there!! This is an
Janet's stinging criticism echoed in the back of Neil's mind. He'd
worked so hard at the Navy, taking every opportunity he had to study,
train, test, study, train...
countless hours in simulators... And he'd earned his wings! And what
about his small, growing side career as a sculptor? Landing a
Superfortress on a single engine was no
small feat. Why was she so pessimistic about a Moon landing? Even if
that biting denunciation had a core of truth, that he could never,
He dismissed his internal monologue with a shake of his head and
picked up the boot to try again. The footprints had to look absolutely
perfect. Flawless impressions,
without even a wisp of air to displace the surrounding gray Plaster of
Little did he know how his accomplishments would inspire future
The dispassionate, slightly off-time announcements from Mission
Control's wonky droid only added to the chaotic frenzy of preparatory
activity in this band of fearless
space pilots. Spanners spun, cargo was frantically lashed into
obedience, hulls were straightened last-minute and sparkly touchup
paint applied. The fleet was preparing to launch -- to travel by any
means necessary -- to finally land feet-first on the Solar System's
second largest, and arguably most serene and beautiful, planet:
Preparations complete, the fleet made their way to the launchpad.
Ensign y.t. set her R2 unit's waypoint to the 6th planet from the Sol
system's star. The Fleet Admiral prepped us with peppy
proselytization. The fleet launched, Ensign vomit bringing up the rear
with ring-shaped shields up.
The sounds of funk busted through the ether as the fleet headed out of
the atmosphere and into interplanetary space. We headed through the
Kendall Constellation and orbited our first minor black hole briefly.
Our journey continued over the Charles Asteroid Belt and into the
Boston System, where we collected large numbers of high fives from
enthusiastic civilians. A few floaties joined us while we traversed
Planet Tremont, and we continued to the Southwest Corridor Wormhole,
orbiting another black hole on the way.
Our interplanetary funk mix started having strange effects. Nearby
ships seemed brighter somehow and far-away ones redshifted.
Gravitational effects were varied and strange. Those of us wearing
digital watches had the disconcerting notion that they were floating
off into the sunset, yet the day star had already disappeared. Time
seemed to have no meaning, the wormhole effected a tesseract, and we
emerged on a strange planet the likes of which we had never seen
This was it. This hazy, funky, foggy place must be Saturn.
The surface of Saturn is a cool, frigid metal the likes of which no
pilot had previously seen. We speculated on its weldability but had no
means of confirming its ferric properties, as no-one had thought to
bring the proper analysis tool. The atmosphere smelled like
onomatopoeia bordering an angle grinder.
We discovered that Saturn has several moons, some of which have their
After reaching our primary waypoint we exited the wormhole at the
Jamaica Plain System and turned back towards home. Skylab's propulsion
transfer conduit disengaged, and we spacewalked to Luna 7-11 to
prepare for a lengthy mechnical. Vomit and MCPO threespeed diagnosed
the issue -- an incorrect circlip installation -- while Petty Officer
Nosepicker stepped in something unspeakably noxious during a fuel
dump. Threespeed provided Every Flavor Malt Eggs, which variously
tasted like orange sherbert, watermelon, envelope glue, country music
and old carpet. A floatie stopped and introduced herself as an
ex-roommate of Rex Hazard, a wayward pilot whose galactic travels many
of us have been following. STs stopped by briefly, then left once
realizing we posed no threat. SCPO DeathTrap burned up on re-entry and
bid us goodbye since we were close to his fort.
Once we'd had our fill of Luna 7-11 we continued on Planet Centre to
orbit another black hole. While crossing Planet Jamaicaway, the fleet
became seperated and several pilots near the rear abruptly applied
retros. Ensign Bane Thunderwolf was ejected from Skylab and his leg
was cut off at the knee. Bane's hair was unharmed. One of our floaties
applied emergency brakes and was also ejected from his civilian ship.
We called for medibag and the floatie, shaking off his own fatal
injuries, used his advanced medical training to culture another leg
with metallic cyborg scaffolding. We field repaired Bane Thunderwolf
and now his new leg can pick up signals from WFNA.
Bubble tape was then applied to several pilots and we continued around
another black hole.
We lurched back through the Brookline System, across the Charles
Asteroid Belt and into the Cambridge system to collect high-fives from
Constellation Central. As we entered the Somerville System, Lieutenant
Stogie recieved a subspace transmission from Aviator First Class
Zygoat that cinnamon roll molecules were available at Luna Petsi's
Once at Luna Petsi's, Zygoat emerged sporting a personal orbiting
rotating shield and handed Stogie a bag filled to the brim with
delicious pastries. Stogie then loaded the bag into his ship's weapons
systems and launched it straight upwards. Cinnamon roll fireworks
ensued and the air was quickly fragranted with the best thing we had
smelled all night. The sounds of cinnamon rolls plopping onto the
pavement provided soft harmony to the melody of excited pilots
scrambling to pick up and consume them.
Our fatally injured medically trained floatie then left, we continued
to the launch pad, and concluded our successful mission to set foot on
And we have pictures to prove it.