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Monday, January 7, 2013

Space Monkeys

As the craft maneuvered closer
I made minor remote adjustments with the thrusters
A little higher on the front
A little to my left on the target
All relative to me of course

I had an anxiety boner that wouldn't quit
No time to rub one out
I just kept pressing down on it periodically
Hoping the pain would make it go away
But I think it just got me more uptight and frustrated
Because it felt like it actually got even harder

Twenty feet became fifteen
Then ten turned to five
Four three two one
The mating gaskets gently came together
I pulled the mechanical lever that pulled the locking fingers down
Engaging them in the opposite lugs on the ferry craft outside

I turned to get on my quarantine pressure suit off the rack
Balancing myself on my two big toes
As I was wont to do in the zero gravity
I'd found that was the easiest way for me
To use fingertips and toes
Gentle pushing and grasping
Something that came with being almost a year and a half in space

The suit slipped on comfortably
Unlike the first few times
When dread and new suit stiffness had hindered it

Today the only issue I had to deal with really
Was my persistent erection
Which I'd definitely have to do something about after the cargo was stowed

This was the last load to be transferred up from the surface
One of the last steps in it's multi-stepped journey to Earth

All seemingly one spacecraft all the way from Earth
We had separated the landing unit upon arriving in orbit
Sending it down to land on the ice
Where the robotic craft had drilled down
Extracting samples of the water
And whatever else was there with it
Transferring it into sterile containers
Residing in small recovery rockets
Which blasted off like miniature ballistic missiles
Going straight up into a similar orbit to us
To be picked up by our remote scout ship
Then to be returned to us

A pretty complicated multi step process
Rife with opportunity for failure

But NASA had been bold ever since that crazy sky crane landing on Mars
And their luck had held ever since on such things

I glided through the quarantine cargo area in my green suit
Opening the airlock at the far end
Then the smaller hatch on the scout ship
Pulling out the tenth and last sample container

I held it up to the light
Looking into it's thick crystal viewing glass
Smiled at what I saw

'Sea Monkeys'

Same as all the rest of them
The otherwise clear water
Sported little creatures that reminded me of the brine shrimp of Earth
That used to be sold in the back of comic books
To little girls and boys
All hoping for something amazing to be delivered to their door

This time
When our packages arrived at home
We would finally deliver on that old promise