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How I Met The Titan

“You know Mac if you keep skippin’ out on the astronaut training sessions they’ll never let you go into space.” I said. As he stuffed his mouth with greasy french fries from “Dick’s Burger Stand”. He never said much. But when he did it was always about some kind of moon facts or something about fast food. It was probably the only two things he would ever talk about; possibly the only two things he knew about. It got on my nerves when he’d go back to those same two topics every time I would try to hold a decent conversation with him. Even if he tried, we would never talk about anything other then moon’s and fast food.

“Did you know the average temperature on Saturn’s Moon ‘Titan’ is negative one hundred, and seventy-eight degrees Celsius?” He asked. “No, I didn’t. Now quick! Ask me if I care.” I said. He looked me over, as if to determine whether or not to really ask me if I did care. Maybe since he knows so much about moon’s NASA will put him on a mission to find out whether we can live on surfaces of certain planets. Those would probably be a great type of mission for him to be on. Maybe I should write a recommendation for him, maybe that would get him a job. After lunch we headed back to base to get both of us back into our training sessions.

Names were called over the intercom as astronauts in training got on the appropriate gear to go into their training sessions. As we walked through the base’s corridors he spouted off more information on the moon Titan, “did you know it’s the biggest out of all fifty-three of Saturn’s moon’s?” he asked me. “No, I don’t know anything about that moon, or any other moon other then our moon.” I said. He continued on to bore me anyway. “It’s the second largest moon in our entire solar system. It takes a full sixteen days for Titan to orbit Saturn.” He took a deep breath and continued to shoot out random facts about Saturn’s largest moon, “ In 1994 the Hubble Spacecraft got recorded pictures of The Titan? Well guess when it was discovered! And by who, please? Come on you have to guess!” He teased. “Who discovered it?” I asked. “Well, in 1665 a Dutch astronomer named Christiaan Huygens discovered The Titan! And it got it’s named because it’s a greek god fable. It was a generic term, but it had something to do with Zeus’ son getting eaten limb by limb by Titans and Zeus didn’t like it so he turned them into ash by smighting them with lightening! Isn’t that exciting?” He sounded excited. I looked at him, and sat down on the bench. “Alright Mac, get your gear on. It’s time to run through our last session before our launch tomorrow.” I said. We got onto the flight simulator, going through all the drills. After we went through the rest of our day we walked out to the parking lot where we had parked both cars after we had returned from our lunch break.

“Well Mac,” I said “I’ll be seein’ you bright and early tomorrow morning to run through our sessions before we take off for Saturn!” I yelled. He said “Oh you betcha!” like the Canadian he was, and got into his small jeep. As I watched him drive out of the empty parking lot I stepped into my truck, and sat in the seat for a minute. Tomorrow we would be leaving our planet, and going out of our atmosphere. This is a chance almost nobody gets the chance to have. Mac, and I both got it. It was happening tomorrow. All in all, nothing could possibly go wrong.

When I stepped into the house I forgot I left the T.V. on the news channel this morning. They were talking about a crash that had just occurred on Maine Street, and the First Street intersection. A drunk driver had hit Mac while he was on his way home from today. My heart skipped a few beats as my knees dropped to the floor as the news Anchor began to speak about my Mac, “Toby Macintire was twenty-seven years old when he got accepted into NASA to begin to be taught as an astronaut in training. He was scheduled to go into space tomorrow. He was the first man with aspergers to become an astronaut. Aspergers is a type of Autism. He was also the youngest man to become an astronaut. Anyone who has ever known Toby Macintire has claimed that he was a kind, caring, and gentle person.” He said. After the News carried on I got up off my knees, and turned the T.V. off, and headed back out the door.

The sky was clear, and the moon was out. It lit up the road as I drove back to base. As I waited in the lot for night to pass, people came, and went. I sat there with both hands on the wheel, tears streaming down my face. Mac was only two years younger then I was, he was twenty-seven years old. He would never get the chance that I was going to get tomorrow morning. I looked at the clock on the dashboard, it was only eleven, I closed my eyes as I went through the day over and over in my head. Why did I have to be so sarcastic towards Mac? He didn’t do anything to me. He was just trying to talk about what he knew.

When I opened my eyes I searched for the clock that was on the dash, 6:05. I was a little early, but they’d let me back in. I opened the truck door, and stepped out into the humid Texan air as I headed for the front doors of the building. Grim faces looked at me over their desks. When I got into the fitting room for our attire I got on my suit, and walked out into my session with the rest of my space crew. “We still headin’ out today?” I asked my new ‘Second In Command’. “Yes ‘sir. Still right on schedule. A little ahead of it, actually.” he said. We ran through our courses, and loaded up the shuttle about an hour before noon. As we took our seats, I looked around the room for Mac. I could feel him there, he was watching to make sure we were all safe.

We went through our process for launching. As the shuttle took off, I closed my eyes and imagined Mac’s face. He’d be mouthin’ facts to me. So for his sake, I whispered one of my own, “we’ll see The Titan for you. But this time, I’ll be the one telling you the facts this time Mac”.
***

As we came into Saturn’s orbit I looked around for the biggest moon, The Titan. Through the window it looked large, and misty. As I looked at my crew members they left the section of the shuttle that I was in. As I stood face to face with The Titan I held my breath, and remembered my best friend, and his last fact to me about it. “Hey Mac, did you know that The Titan’s surface is 95% methane gas? It’s what makes it that glowy blue color you liked so much. Rest In Peace Mac, you’re missed.” I said.





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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

JoPepper said...
Aug. 10, 2011 at 5:20 pm
I agree with musicispassion!!!!! I really like it.  Keep writing!!! You rock!!!!!!! :D
 
musicispassion said...
Aug. 5, 2011 at 10:57 pm
it's amazing how u never now if ur going to make it home or to your destination and u wonder why some people have to die but it happens for a reason great story i liked it was sad and sweet
 
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