It was raining. It is always raining on Enceladus.
We showed up to MRC, some with enthusiasm and others with foreboding.
The base plan was to attend evening
festivities at Earth festival Figment in Boston System, but before our
proposed early launch we were informed that Figment was made of
sugar and had disappeared.
Fleet Admiral Skunk declared against, but those of us with too much
SCUL in our blood to quit decided that waiting wouldn't help, and
grimly prepared to patrol the constellations. At the last moment (as
is now customary) a heap of enthusiastic pilots showed up and we were
too soft-hearted to turn them away.
We launched in persistent midlevel radiation, in gear ranging from
full impermasuits to diaphanous, revealing t-shirts. Earth's radar
green. FAdm Skunk accompanied us, under duress and on a tiny ship,
while Wombat hauled Cloudbuster for the good of the groove.
Executing the original mission plan despite it having become
completely futile, we determined to buzz the site of the now-defunct
Figment. But as we crossed into Boston system a cataclysmic explosion
announced a near-fatal sidewall blowout. A needle and thread were
procured from unlikely orifices, and after many, many minutes of
valiant, unthimbled sewing by Vomit we were able to proceed.
Dermal radiation conditions ranged from damp to soaking, spaceworn
joints began to creak, and morale dropped with the temperature.
We arrived at one end of Figment. A few miserable natives crouched,
wetly, with their digging sticks under a skin canopy, surrounded by
totemic images of Earth wildlife. They seemed happy to see us; a
short pause later we decamped for the other end of Figment. There
the dome-dwelling natives seemed more advanced, and pilot Buckminister
joined us. Things were looking up: radiation had stealthily tailed
off and all were warmer and dryer.
Suddenly, geysers erupted. We had reached Enceladus! Random spurts
of subsurface fluid burst from the ground in clouds of hot mist, and
SCUL was irresistibly drawn to fly and dance among them. Oh, it was
good. The squirting! The rising! The falling! All were moved; most
were wet. Vomit, YT and Bane Thunderwolf gave themselves entirely to
the gushing liquid ecstasy. Tears of joy rolled down our cheeks, I
hardly know what ran down our thighs.
Sated, refreshed, mission accomplished, at peace with all the
radiation in the universe, we wound our way back to base.
|BaneThunderwolf||Skylab||446.411||Rear Admiral, Upper Half|
|beezwax||Chastity||288.808||Senior Chief Petty Officer|
|bt||Rhinoceros||296.185||Petty Officer 3rd Class|
|Buckminister||Immaculate Taco||203.982||Lieutenant Commander|
|Fleet Admiral Skunk||Pestilence||472.23|
|Kpafun||Civilianship||84.038||Lieutenant, Junior Grade|
|yt||All Look Same||1114.11||Admiral|
|Deck Officer Asst.||metoikos|
|Minister of Zoobs||DrClaw|
|MRC Officer||Fleet Admiral Skunk|