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Sunday, November 12, 2006

The god of special victory and true power

You are NASA’s goto guy. You can do all the really tricky stuff that the brainiacs with their black-rimmed glasses and their rocket-to-the-moon yadda yadda have no idea about.

But you don’t have much to do so most of the time you just do routine stuff. It ain’t rocket science.

One day you get your big break. Everyone else is busy as hell but you have your feet up on the desk and you’re reading the paper when the Flight Director comes bustling in.

‘I don’t know what to do,’ he says, looking like he hasn’t slept in months and he’s aged a year in the last week. It’s not unusual for the big cheeses to tell you their problems. ‘We lost contact with Apollo 11 shortly before it entered lunar orbit. We’re screwed. Fiery death for the astronauts in all likelihood. An end to the moonshot. Massive loss of prestige to the Russians. They’ll be up there in a heartbeat you know. If we fail now, they’ll can NASA. Just goddamn fire us all or turn us into a little offshoot of the Air Force. We have to be seen to succeed to keep the space program going. Otherwise there’ll be no moon colony by 1980, no goddamn Mars colony by 1990 and we’ll all be stuck on this goddamn rock in 2000 when the next ice age comes. Ah crap,’ he says, and lurches off, both hands rubbing his temples.

He never said it directly of course. Never said it in a way that could be attributed back to him and NASA management. But you knew what he was talking about.

We have to be seen to succeed to keep the space program going. We have to be seen to succeed…

Immediately you put Plan Snow Blind into effect. Just a little thing you’ve been tooling about with in the basement for an occasion such as this.

A black back-drop. Loads and loads of styrofoam. Spare astronaut type junk. Three buddies from down the hall and a TV camera.

One hour later it’s done. America did land on the moon. And you have the documentary evidence under your arm to prove it.

‘How’s it going, sir?’ You wink as you hand the tape over to the Flight Director.

‘What?’ He says blinking at you madly. ‘Huh? Fine, everything’s fine, after the radio glitch cleared up’. He gives you a why-am-I-even-talking-to-you? Look but you see him put the tape down on his desk. You know the drill.

That night, in your apartment, you light a candle to Kratos, Greek god of special victory and true power. You don’t muck around with Zeus, you go straight to the real authority.

Kratos responds: Do not waver. Final victory is at hand.

Thanks be to Kratos, god of special victory and true power!

3 comments:

Kay aka Kirsten said...

So that's why we are still stuck on this rock. But what happened to the promised ice age?

(Sometime soon I will get around to re-adding you to my blogroll - around the same time I get around fixing the link to Zoe so that I can stop going to her old blog all the time... but in the meantime, it's nice to have you back Nick.)

(PS New blogger display name is to account for my family's blog, cause they all thought it was odd that my posts showed up as by Kay, which they've never called me)(but it is still me)(Kay)(as in kayoz)

elsewhere said...

Is this the beginning of another novel?

nick cetacean said...

No, I doubt that any humble offering will be novelised. Like this one, they're just cast to the wind and left to fend for themselves, sink or swim, do or die, piss or off the pot.

I am about to start a novel again, he said hopefully.