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Chapter Thirteen – Warning, This Is A Plot Complication

Back to Chapter Twelve

In the ‘bug rolling back to Engineering section, after the enforced organic waste “donation” to the Temple, the group is quiet until José turns to Beth.

¡Dios Mio! Did we really pull that off, or do I have hypoxia?”

Heinie stretches forward and lays a hand on José’s shoulder. “We did better than good. Here’s our chance to lay our hands on some Alsakanite cigarettes! Do you have any idea what those are going for in the war between Mu and Atlantis? Do you have any idea how much I need a smoke?”

Beth mashes a few buttons on the comm. “Hailing Starbase 42. Hailing Starbase 42. This is the Mission to Phobos. Trek Deck, are you there? We need to speak with The Spock.”

“Mission to Phobos, we read you. Which is odd, as we’re talking over the radio.” In the background is heard, “SSHHH!!! Don’t say things like that! Kirk’s balls! How new are you at this?”

Beth – palm, meet face. “Tell The Spock we have the ‘The Baby’ and we are preparing to put her ‘in the cloud’.”

In reply is heard, “Ok, Over and out” followed by some muffled shouting and “I mean, Roger that, Houston” – more muffled shouting then – “Message received, Phobos Mission.” and clearly to someone in the room with her, “Jesus, would you assholes leave me alone!?! This is my first time as The Uhura! Where’s the manual?!?”

In the ‘bug José finds no choice but to wonder out loud, “And we’re trusting these payasos to link our comms to Earth?”

Beth has to counter, “Yeah well, they are the only clowns we’ve got. And now comes the hard part.”

What? Now comes the hard part?” José is incredulous.

“Yep. Here’s what’s next.” She ticks the items off on her fingers:

  1. Making sure The Trek Deck can really communicate with Phobos Base
  2. Get a Bounce Bug into the Fling, get it fueled
  3. Make sure we calculate the trajectory right so we can get it docked on Phobos and not smashed into Phobos or launched into the asteroid belt
  4. Get José into that Bug and ready to space it
  5. Actually launch it, dock and enter
  6. Connect with Earth

José raises a finger. “Una cosa mas, señorita. ‘Return José to Bradbury Base sin rompiendo mi cabeza. That is to say, ‘With out turning me into some kind of jelly’.”

“Oh yeah, safe landing.”

Now Chen is really excited. “Oh man, we’re like ‘The A-Team‘, but in space! This is the best Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book ever!”

Issac speaks up, “Can I plot the trajectory? I’m good at math.”

“Ooh! Ooh! Does it have phasers?” Heinie wants to know.

“No, but it’s got a soft ice cream machine.”


“No. Worse off, I think we’re going to have to pull in the Chief Engineer in to pull this off.” Beth bites a knuckle.

André taps Beth on the shoulder from the back seat. “Will that be a problem? After all, we can pretty much bribe him with what we can order from Earth.”

“That is true… but he can be a total knob sometimes. Like he graduated from Asshole School. Gorram! Now what!?”

As they crest the ridge they find themselves facing three more ‘bugs, all with poorly done black paint jobs, like they were done in a hurry with whatever black like stuff was around. Directly in their path two pressure suited figures, one of whom is holding a staff with a long flowing black penant, which must have some kind of blowing device to make it stretch out and whip about like that in the thin atmosphere of Mars.

Forward to Chapter Fourteen