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Space Madness – Chapter 13

Posted in erbooker by erbooker on 03/16/2015

Space Madness

Former astronaut Nancy Line returns from exile after a public nervous breakdown to assist NASA in faking a moon landing.

Chapter Thirteen – Swingin’ Down The Lane

President William Wayne is up in his Chief of Staff Jeremy Wolfe’s face, spittle stippling Jeremy’s cheeks, eyes and lips. “You’ve got vigilantes and renegades on the street hunting astronauts!”

“Mr. President, it’s a bit more complicated than that.”

“What could be more complicated than an astro-hunt!”

“Sir, I assure you I have this under control. You know, while the country’s distracted, now would be a good time to pass some of those laws and amendments we always talked about.”

The President sinks into the couch of his Beverly Hills Hotel Presidential suite and slurps from a glass of brandy. “I’m heading back to Washington. Find those astronauts. Alive. Your job depends on it.”

Wolfe turns to leave, muttering, “Yours too, Mr. President.”

With a hat brim low over her eyes and a Goodwill hoodie over her head, astronaut Nancy Line enters a North Hollywood pool hall. She finds a young man at a table in the back and smiles. “Play for cash?”

Jeremy Wolfe is back at the NoHo movie sound-stage on the fake lunar landing set, standing over a bloodied, battered NASA Director Josef Morrow. “You’re defeated, Josef. Just tell me where your astronauts are headed and all this can end.”

Josef spits more blood onto the moon floor. “Beat me to death for all I care.”

“You know, I see your daughter is in college, Josef.”

Josef lifts his head up to his captor.

“She’s doing well, getting good grades,” Jeremy continues. “Maybe someday she’ll be working at NASA with her dad. Or maybe not.”

Jeremy shows Josef live video on his phone of Josef’s daughter walking across campus with her friends. Josef hangs his head and sighs wearily. “If Nancy is trying to get away from everyone, there’s only one place she’d go. The same place she went after her first public humiliation.”

Josef writes down some coordinates and Jeremy pockets them and turns to leave, nodding at one of his black ops soldiers. “Put a bullet in his head. And take out the daughter, too.”


Nancy returns to the motel with a wad of cash and flashes it at the newly-shorn Tony Graziani. “You shaved your head.”

“Yeah, and you should, too. Help disguise our identities a bit.”

“Tony, I’d rather have these gorgeous locks in prison than be bald on the run.”

“We’re the two most wanted people in America. A ball cap and shades ain’t gonna cut it.”

“Sure it is. I never wear hats. People will be like, ‘Is that that astronaut lady? No, couldn’t be. She’s wearing a hat.’ Now I figure if we start heading east, we should be in the Gulf of Mexico by Wednesd–“

“Excuse me.”

The astronauts turn to the door Nancy left open to find LAPD Detectives Ricky Faulk & Harry Schette; bloody and harried, having narrowly escaped the black ops shootout themselves. Ricky Faulk smiles. “We’d like some answers.”

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