Space Madness – Chapter 5
Former astronaut Nancy Line returns from exile after a public nervous breakdown to assist NASA in faking a moon landing.
Chapter Five – Too Marvelous For Words
“Does anyone know why the internet’s so slow?” Tony glances around the expansive movie stage.
“Because we’re in the valley,” Nancy murmurs. “We’re working, Tony. Browse porn on your own time.”
Hollywood PR man Tanner Mercer is pacing the old movie studio stage.
Tony bops the side of his laptop, “It’s like somebody hacked the server or someth–“
“Oh, you don’t even know what that means,” Nancy scoffs.
Tanner slams his fists on the folding table and gets in Tony’s face. “Mr. Graziano, if you don’t focus up and pay attention I’ll send you to the moon myself with these $1200 Louis Vuitton boat shoes, you vapid philandering hunk of man meat.”
Astronaut Nancy Line grins, “Josef, I like this guy.”
Tanner turns to Nancy with a fiery glare. “And as for you, you murderous psychopathic…astro-bitch!”
Nancy’s grin drops, “Whoa what the hell, dude.”
Josef steps in, “Yeah, maybe that’s a bit much, Mr. Mercer.”
Tanner claps his hands and smiles, “And that’s the worst of what you can expect from the public. That’s why I’m here. To change that perception. Tony, I don’t want people to see you as a two-timing jerk who sent a good woman over the brink. I want them to see you as a brave, noble astro-warrior hellbent on being absolved for his sins.”
Tony scratches his beard, “Yeah, I guess that sounds okay.”
“And lose the beard.”
Tanner spins to face Nancy. “And Nancy, I don’t want the American public to see you as a raving madwoman who thirsts for the blood of vengeance in the eye of betrayal in a fit of macabre Shakespearean bedlam.”
Nancy sheepishly mutters, “The doctors called it ‘space madness’.”
“I want them to see you as a woman consumed by passion who wanted to commit a final act of love, but her better faculties got a hold of her in the nick of time. A woman returned from sabbatical in quiet contemplation once again consumed by that passion, but now pointing in the direction of the skies above, in order to once again dance amongst the stars.”
“Wow Mr. Mercer, that was…beautiful.”
“Yes, I’m very good.” Tanner claps his hands, “Alright people, we have a week or so until the global press conference. Let’s turn you into heroes.”
French director Arrendise Marche taps NASA director Josef Morrow on the shoulder, “Mr. Morrow, there is a young lady outside to see you. And I need more silver paint for the crater set.”
Tanner marvels at the sprawling moon set, still under construction. “My, this is one helluva training center NASA has here.”
Josef, Arrendise and the astronauts share a glance before Josef clears his throat, “Yes…training center.”
The NASA director slaps a credit card in the movie director’s palm, “Just buy the cheap stuff.”
“Mon dieu! I will do no such thing, silly American.”
Josef slides open the massive stage door and is greeted by a short teenage girl in a dark goth get-up.
“How did you know my–I mean, how can I help you.”
“My name’s Nia. I was curious if you were having computer troubles this morning.”
“How did you–what is this.”
Nia smiles and leans in, “I know what you’re doing here, Director Morrow. And I want in.”
Send all hate mail to ethanrbooker@