What did you get in trouble for the most when you were a kid?
“T minus 25 seconds and counting and ARTEMIS is GO.” The voice from Houston echoed through the capsule. “T minus 20 seconds. T minus 20 seconds and counting. 17 – Guidance Release – 15… 14… 13… 12… 11… 10… 9… 8…” The final checks had been completed and the launch was imminent. “Ignition sequence has started – 6… 5… 4… 3… 2… 1… zero – we have commit and we have liftoff. The BFR building up to 10.3 million pounds of thrust and it has cleared the tower.”
“Roger, Houston.” Selene grinned wide as the force of the heavy-lift rocket propelled her towards low earth orbit. She proceeded through the remaining systems checks and began the staging sequence. After all, this was a highly technical mission where carelessness could be life-threatening. She wouldn’t accidentally blow herself up before she reached her destination.
Ever since she was a kid, Selene had been enamored with the night sky. Her parents had had no idea that naming her after a lunar deity would drive her in her pursuits, but she knew it was her destiny to return humanity to the moon one day. She was the only one who could. It was her namesake.
She had driven her parents mad as a teenager because she would often sneak out to go stargazing. They were certain she was running off to see some boy or other. Smirking at Alnitak, Alnilam and Mintaka, the three brightest stars in the asterism that comprised Orion’s belt, she supposed they were right, in a manner of speaking.
She continued her late-night escapades well into college and that was where she met Simon Archer. They bonded immediately over their shared infatuation with space. Selene also strongly believed in her own destiny, and knew their instant chemistry was no coincidence. She had no hesitation in answering his question from bended knee several years later.
They had been married ten years when the Artemis project was greenlit. Selene Archer would fly Artemis to the moon. She knew it in her bones. Simon stood by her through all her astronaut training and worked tirelessly with mission control to ensure she had safe travel. She wasn’t the only one in their marriage with a PhD in astrophysics after all.
After a short flight she was into the Earth’s orbit. It was everything she had ever dreamed. “Houston, Artemis,” she called. “The earth looks beautiful from up here.”
She could hear the smile in Simon’s voice when he replied. “Roger, that Artemis.”
Notes: Ahh, it’s all a bit on-the-nose I’m sure, but it’s been a long week and I am tired. Cut it short cause I didn’t know where else to take it. I took from my own experiences of spending late nights on the deck or in the yard or wandering my neighborhood for the best view of the moon through all the trees and thought “what if someone far more ambitious than me with my same level of adoration actually fulfilled that dream?” Selene has long been one of my favorite deities so naturally the character could have no other name.
The very first paragraph is actually part of the transcript from the Apollo 13 launch. JSC has an archive online and when I knew I was going to do a space mission story, I wanted to look at the actual conversations between Capcom and the module for accuracy. I altered a few things to update it for my short tale, namely the mission name, the rocket, and the thrust. The BFR from SpaceX is allegedly the next big thing on the market for space travel and even though it’s technically just a code name right now, I feel like they would leave it as is. It also gets a LOT more thrust than the Saturn V so I made sure to adjust that number as well.
Admittedly, I’m not as familiar with rocket propulsion as I should be, given my marriage to an aerospace engineer who did his master’s thesis on jet propulsion because of his love of rockets. I did not ask him to check my numbers and logic because I am lazy and got to a late start on this one tonight because I demanded a date night. Dinner + bookstore = best date ever. What can I say, I’m a cheap date.
So what sorts of trouble did you get into as a child? As a teenager? There’s likely inspiration in those memories so find it! Write it down!
Monday’s prompt: Do you prefer taking risks or having a safety net?
This or that, I like it. Have a lovely weekend everyone! If you’re partying for the Superbowl, stay safe! Don’t drink and drive! I love you! See you Monday!