Bill tapped the window. "Look Jay, there's something there"Jay looked up from his sliver packet then let it spin out in front of him.
"Aw, its just a bit of juice. You're seeing things bro."replied Jay trying not to encourage his imaginative sibling. Jay reached for another silver carton.
"Nah, see. Its something. Just between those two stars."Jay pushed himself across the cabin and took a look outside one of the ports. He could never get used to the look of space.
Bill and Jay, the Haret brothers, were America's newest heroes. They had signed up for the one way trip across the Universe. The scientists had tried everything, monkeys, AI's, but nothing could handle the equipment as well as a thinking, breathing human. Getting someone to volunteer to die out there in the darkness of space however was even harder than trying to train the monkey. Jay was a fine Captain in the Airforce, and so had Bill been, until he was diagnosed as suffering from the human immunodeficency virus. He was dismissed from service, which had nearly broken him. It was Jay who had suggested going on this final mission, wanting his brother to feel glory before he died. In his opinion it was better to be admired and famous deep out in space than feared, pitied and a nobody back home on Earth. Jay just couldn't live without his brother, and wanted him to smile again, so they signed up together. They had no family but each other, and there was no better honour in their eyes than serving their nation.
They were 5 months into their journey. The mathematicians back in Florida didn't know exactly how long they wold be sliding through space, sending pictures back to Uncle Sam by way of VLF transmissions. They would keep going as long as the plants kept churing out oxygen, the water reclamation units kept distilling and the whole ship just basically stayed in one piece. Jay stared out into the void and could make out the object that Bill was yapping on about. It looked flat and coloured, but they would have to wait a while to be able to get a closer peek. meanwhile they had checks to make, and pictures and diaries to submit. Their messages would take time to get back, in the region of months and years rather than hours, but this didin't stop the brothers putting every bit of their soul into the stuff that the people would one day be hearing through their TV sets.
A game of wall chess later (with velcro bottomed pieces) they were getting close enough to have a better view of the thing. Jay was put out because Bill always beat him at games no matter how hard he studied the tactics or tried his best. He could see now that things were beginnnig to change about Bill, most likely due to the disease. He wasn't always as quick with his moves, or as strong with his grips, or just totally with it all the time. Finding this UFO had brightened him up and Jay was not about to put a dampener on that for anything. Jay used one of the photo lenses with the high magnification while Bill pressed his face close up to the plastic window. They could see the thing much more clearly now, and it surprised them even more.
It reminded Bill of his Mother's kitchen at home. Pink and black tiles, washed daily by a woman who never asked for anything, and gave everthing that she had. It was like a floor just hanging in space. These tiles looked marble though, not plastic like the ones they had at home. The light from distant suns glinted off them. There was something in the middle, small, rectangular. Jay turned up the magnification and saw it was a picture...
Just a link to her homepage.
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