Space Madness – Chapter 8
Former astronaut Nancy Line returns from exile after a public nervous breakdown to assist NASA in faking a moon landing.
Chapter Eight – Love Is Here To Stay
White House Chief of Staff Jeremy Wolfe and First Lady Mabel Wayne are standing outside the Oval Office.
Jeremy straightens his tie, “Are we still on board with how little we’re letting the President in on the lunar launch?”
The First Lady smells her breath with her hand and nods, “If William learns that he can’t even afford to send a rocket to the moon, it’ll ruin him. The country is reinvigorated by this mission. His approval ratings are the highest they’ve been since inauguration. He can never know the truth.”
Jeremy nods and opens the door to the Oval Office.
President Wayne quickly pulls up his slacks and changes the channel, “Uh, I was watching basketball!”
NASA director Josef Morrow, French movie director Arrendise Marche and astronauts Tony Graziani & Nancy Line stand over hacker Nia’s laptop as she uploads the fake launch footage.
Nia leans back in her swivel chair and grins, her nose ring glinting under the movie stage lights, “We are officially live on all networks. T-minus five minutes to launch.”
“It looks so real,” Nancy murmurs.
“I just took some old launch footage from a few years ago and photo-shopped new numbers on the side of the shuttle so it can’t be traced back to any known shuttle sitting in a NASA garage somewhere. The media will be none the wiser.”
Tony wonders at the screen, “I can’t believe we’re about to go to the moon.”
Nancy sighs, “Okay, who wants to explain it to him again.”
Chief of Staff Jeremy Wolfe averts his eyes as President William Wayne buckles his belt, “You wanna flip over to the launch, sir.”
“Yes, yes. Of course, the rocket launch. An historic day.”
First Lady Mabel Wayne picks up the remote and flips over to CNN as smoke billows out from beneath the fictional rocket.
“Now will I be able to speak with the brave astronauts?”
Jeremy glances at the First Lady, “I believe that can be arranged, sir.”
“I can’t believe we’re landing a man on Mars.”
Mabel sighs, “Okay, do you want to explain it to him again?”
Josef turns to his astronauts as the fake rocket lifts off out of sight of the fake cameras. “Nancy, Tony. You are officially not on Earth anymore. You can’t leave this facility until you’ve ‘returned’. We have cots and plenty of food to last out the mission.”
That evening, Nancy and Tony retire to their bunk bed cots. Nancy stares at the ceiling high above as Tony speaks from the bottom bunk, “Nancy, I just wanna say I’m sorry for how I treated you seven years ago. I probably deserved whatever I had coming and you definitely didn’t. I’m glad you’re on this mission with me. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Nancy smiles, “All those supplies and I’m just in the mood for Cinnabon. Tomorrow we’re sneaking out of here and heading to the mall.”
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