Mission: Nothing

September 1, 2007
By Haley Pittman, Plano, TX

Explorer 765 zoomed through space going nowhere in particular. Captain Bleckfield swiveled around in his futuristic chair and pressed some futuristic buttons with his palm. Futuristic green laser beams shot out of the star-cannons. You know whatÕs funny?Ó Bleckfield asked his buddy Leet while pulling a few space-levers. What?Ó Leet asked. Those laser beams will keep going forever until they hit something.Ó I donÕt get it.Ó WeÕre in space, remember? No atmosphere.Ó Oh, yeah.Ó Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. What if they never hit anything? Then what would happen?Ó Bleckfield wondered, shutting his NASA Weekly in awe. I guessÉit would eventually hit heaven. Whoa, get this. What if our lasers hitÉlikeÉan angel? Or God?Ó Whoa, man. You are blowing my mind here.Ó Hey, you know what else is weird?Ó Leet asked after a thoughtful silence. Our ship runs on gasoline and has wings. How does that work without any atmosphere?Ó YeahÉand why is it called a ship in the first place?Ó Bleckfield added as he sipped some astro-coffee and scratched his galaxy-wig. I think there were some nebula-pirates back in the ‘90s. They used those ships like the one in Peter Pan, and flew around the galaxies attacking each other for no reason,Ó Leet explained. Suddenly, Bleckfield drew out his futuristic gun and pointed it to LeetÕs head. So itÕs true. You do know about the Nebulas. Well, my friend, IÕm afraid that you arenÕt getting any of my comet-gold. IÕm sorry to say that youÕre going to have to go now.Ó He pulled the trigger, and LeetÕs head suddenly showed him a hologram of a futuristic beach resort. To Starside Inn,Ó Bleckfield continued. As a result of your wisdom of the universe, the Asteroid-Council has decided to send you somewhere where you can really show your stuff!Ó Leet grimaced. But I donÕt want to go there,Ó he whined. It sounds like IÕll have to think a lot. Nobody likes thinking. As a matter of fact, if I could just dispose of my brain and live the rest of my life as a vegetable, I would do it in a heartbeat.Ó Oh,Ó Bleckfield sighed. Then I have no choice. You either go, or you get dumped into space and eventually explode.Ó Okay, I guess thatÕs fair. I had a good run.Ó All right, then. Out you go. Would you like to be dragged and screaming, or silent and dignified?Ó Bleckfield asked. Umm, I think screaming is more my style.Ó Okay,Ó Bleckfield said as he grabbed LeetÕs arm. Leet screeched and tumbled into the darkness. HEY!Ó he yelled after a while of floating. I can see my planet from here!Ó IÕll send you a fruit basket if youÕre not dead by tomorrow,Ó Bleckfield called. "Cool," Leet thought. "Fruit."

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