Monday, November 16, 2009
Space Center News Jewels.
“Extra, Extra, Read All About It,” shouted the freckle face red haired urchin standing on the street corner in pants that showed his sockless ankles and hat that let more rain in than out.
Space Center fans were streaming out of the dark subway stations rushing home through the rain, appearing and disappearing as they moved in and out of light circles drawn on the cracked pavement by the street lamps. They were rushing home in search of a nice hot meal, a bit of piece and quiet for their homework and, to top off a perfect night, a relaxing read of the latest Space Center news before their bath and bed.
They stopped to drop a penny into the dripping hand of the newspaper boy. His hand was blackened because of the newsprint mixed with the moisture. They tucked the folded newspapers under their arms and rushed away to their apartments and row houses.
What will they read in tonight’s edition?
BEN MURDOCK HIRED FOR THE GALILEO.
Ben Michael Murdock was hired today by Space Center Director Victor Williamson to flight direct missions in the Galileo Simulator. The paperwork was filled out and signed at 3:30 P.M. All cheered while Ben was rushed away into the Space Center’s ‘Room for Special Occasions’. He was led to the darkened room’s center. When the light’s came on Mr. Murdock found himself surrounded by the Center’s Collective. Each member of the Collective was dressed in their hooded robes. Their heads bowed to conceal their identity. No one spoke. A desk rose from the center of the room. On the desk was a parchment. Next to the document stood an ink well and quill pen.
“Read,” spoke a deep voice that rumbled through the room. Each member of the collective pointed to the parchment with boney index finger. Ben, noticeably distraught by the experience, stammered a moment and then began reading.
“By signing this document you swear to the Collective hear gathered your full devotion and allegiance to the exploration of Space and the mission of the Space Center. You are bound by this oath for life. You are duty bound to return to Space Center employment when called upon, even after you leave to pursue life's other life’s......”
The document was long and detailed. By its end Ben understood what employment at the Space Center entailed. Total devotion of time, talent and a willingness to work for dirt cheap wages.
“Sign, or leave,” the deep voice rang out once more. Ben gulped. He looked at the figures surrounding him and thought about the life he had, and wondered if he had what it took to give it all up for the Center.
The room remained deathly quiet while all waited on his decision. Then, a cell phone rang. Someone in the Collective had left their phone on. The hooded figure at 2:00 o’clock fumbled with her robe searching for the phone that had fallen into the woolen cloak’s hem through a poorly stitched seam in the cloak’s pocket. Ben recognized the ring tone. It was Stacy Carroll’s. She trained him in the Galileo. She taught him everything he knew. He couldn’t let her down and not sign. He grabbed the quill and scratched his name on the parchment.
It was done. He was now a member of the Collective. The Fellowship raised their arms in unison to welcome their newest member, then quickly exited the dark room for refreshments and home.
Welcome Ben to your new life. You’ll never be the same again.
MRS. HOUSTON DISAPPEARS. RUMORS SPREAD.
Mrs. Lorraine Houston didn’t go to work today at the Center. There was word she was preparing to be admitted to the hospital tomorrow for a few procedures to help with severe pain she’s suffered with for several months.
Everyone at the Space Center, along with our numerous readers, all wish Mrs. Houston a speedy recovery. She may be gone four to six weeks. What shall we do without her?
“I’ll starve to death,” Mr. Williamson was overheard saying while standing near the pen box in the Briefing Room. He looked hungrily at the empty counter where Mrs. Houston normally placed fresh baked treats for the daytime field trip staff when she arrived at work in the mornings. Luckily Mrs. Clegg was there to offer condolences along with the other daytime staff, Sheila, Jon, Bracken, and Stacy. Suddenly, Mr Williamson dropped to the carpet suffering from delicious carbo withdrawal.
Mrs. Clegg knew someone had to act quickly or the Center’s operations would grind to a halt. There was a class waiting in the loading hallway for their 9:45 A.M. mission. She rushed into the Discovery Room, opened the gift shop, grabbed a package of peanut butter crackers, returned ot the Briefing Room. Mr. Williamson was in a full withdrawal seizure. He was sprawled out on the floor shaking uncontrollably. The rest of the staff were too afraid to constrain him.
Aleta barked out orders, “Hold his arms and legs down!” The staff hesitated for a moment then carried out her orders. “Jon, hold down his head,” she said while unwrapping the crackers. Once the head was fairly immobile she pried open his mouth and shoved the crackers in. The effect was immediate. The carbos rushed through his body bringing equilibrium to his mind and body. Mr. Williamson, embarrassed by his complete lack of self control, thanked everyone and ordered the ships loaded. The rest of the day went fairly normal.