Insert Chassis Albuquerque: Space Drunk

Space Drunk

It has being said that small changes affect big things, things in the universe, things at home, things between people. It’s about the spaces in between these things.
It’s out there.
And it’s big.
Yesterday a piece of space-junk fell from the sky and killed a woman in New Jersey. Space junk! It was actually a $50 million spy satellite we launched up there in 1978 called Night Watchman, with the Night Watchman program we could keep an eye on any countries communications which we’d done for years.
Proof? How about this correspondence between the President of France and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom:

Bonjour! We believe we can now safely contact aliens beyond our galaxy.  It would be dangerous to think any other way, no? If we reject the idea it would send us back to the dark ages. Anyhow we have received an interstellar communication from a race beyond earth. However, it is a miscommunication and addressed to you...?

Herewith are the details…

We’d received a message from them. There was some basic maths involved in the message, here’s what they said - message begins:

Can you lot contribute something to the final design and costs of our (space) stadium? STOP You should come see it, it’s really cool STOP We’ve reserved two tickets - we'll leave them at the door STOP

The rocket being fuelled up and the technical equipment it will carry are already loaded on board, everyone's just waiting for me, I am the last astronaut. I’d studied the history of the Centre for Mission Control. I knew we’d lost people and rockets before. And, okay, once a small town no one had even heard of called Microwave - most of the inhabitants died from overexposure to the heat from the exploded fuel pods; the others from indeterminate causes the government wouldn't reveal. But I wasn’t scared, I wanted to do this.
The launch tower looms before me, I stare upward at it for some time - for effect. There are cameras and media around. And because I’d had a little pick-me-upper on the side. Wait, is it just me or do I see the technicians and mathematicians high on the landing outside the ship’s hatch? I arrive on the landing, suited and helmeted, carrying my air conditioner unit. Holy fuck, I’m boiling in the suit, it’s claustrophobic. Stencilled in black on the front of the suit, “CONTENTS UNDER PRESSURE - DO NOT PUNCTURE OR INCINERATE,” it warned everyone, a small joke.
“What’s up? Problems? The sun to shining too bright for you? The sky not blue enough?” I ask through the COMMS.
No one laughed, so it was serious. One technician tells me to think twice about flying off into space on that shit-bin and then runs off, away from the rocket; he reaches the lift and heads groundward.
Live pictures from the launch pad showing me exposed to the world like this, weak? I don’t think so. I addressed the technical director to allay his and the nation's fears: "Give me the keys for the ship, don’t worry, I'll drive."
“Are you drunk again?” he asked worriedly. “Jesus!”
“Just a little. And the 100% oxygen helps make me a little more woozy than normal. Just remember to feed my fish and keep an eye on my wife - you know how these things go and people get lonely in the small hours.”
I climbed in and closed things up behind me;  the flight director signalled me a thumbs-up through the hatch-window and I waved him the “all-clear”.
“Good luck, astronaut,” he called. I waited for him to clear the tower. Well, actually I waited till he’d hit the lift and then I began the countdown procedure.
“10… 9… 8 …”
I could see his face in the video monitor, panicked. Don’t worry, there was almost more than enough time for him to clear the launch pad if he hurried.
I heard the noise overhead as the GOX arm was withdrawn, I see it swing away from the ship from the external tank back toward the launch tower.
“3… 2… 1… We’re go for launch! I repeat we’re go for launch…!” I radioed and finally I'm lifting off clearing earth and what was left of my little humanity.
I prayed to God.
“God, I've always been curious just to see your face. Send me to space, I’ll hold my breath until we meet - amen,”  I told him, the vehicle vibrating and shuddering violently as we gathered speed, momentum for when we were no longer held fast and slipped through earth’s atmosphere free from it’s grasp on the space vehicle and I, free from this haven of toxins and smog from feet and old shirts as we headed into the blackness of space and the unknown. And those aliens that had invited us to some kind of convert.
A warning light flashed LOW FUEL on the control panel overhead; then another, this one said YOU SHOULD TURN BACK, IMMEDIATELY.
I reiterate, I’m not scared. It has been said small changes affect big things so why change now? Go outside, look up at the stars. You will see or hear flying machines filled with people who don’t know one another but are going in the same direction to a place they live or have never been or are returning to.
We are not alone.
No one is alone - space, what a rush…!