Ground Control to Major Tom

July 24, 2009 at 11:06 PM

The estimated reading time for this post is 2 minutes, 35 seconds

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“Did you take your protein pills? Good, now put your helmet on.” Ground Control commanded and Major Tom obeyed. Ground Control droned on as Tom sat in his seat in his cramped capsule and waited. “Commencing countdown, engines are active.” Tom counted down with the man on the microphone as he felt the rush of anxiety flow through his veins. “10… 9… 8…” Tom checked the ignition and heard one final phrase from Ground Control. “May God’s love be with you. LIFTOFF.”

Thats all Tom remembered. He woke up to a deep black outside of his spaceship windows and an eruption of cheers from his headset. “Good work Tom, you’ve really made the grade. Just exit your capsule and pilot the ship.” Tom obeyed and exited his capsule, and floated in a most peculiar way to the pilot’s seat.

Floating through space a hundred thousand miles from Earth was the spaceship of Major Tom. It had been three months since the launch and the only company Tom had was the reiteration of pre-launch instructions in his head, over and over. He looked out his window to observe the moon and stare out to the lonesome lifeless abyss that was deep space. The stars looked very different, Tom thought. More vivid. Bigger, even.

Tom’s view was distracted by a sudden movement. Something had swiftly darted behind the moon. Something quite massive had hidden itself behind the moon. Perhaps an asteroid, Tom thought. But they don’t move that quick. Out from behind the moon jetted what looked like a piece of space itself. It was something very large, black as the night sky and dotted in large glowing lights. And it was coming right for Tom’s ship. Thinking quickly he reversed the thrusters on his ship. The massive space thing had narrowly missed the ship, but had enough momentum to spin the ship rapidly.

Tom was thrown into the ships walls. The familiar voice of Ground Control buzzed in Tom’s ear. “Tom, the ship has received damage all over the hull, what happened?” Tom could only reply “Tell my wife I love her very much.” A different voice from Ground Control echoed “She knows.”

The space thing was coming back for a head-on collision with Tom’s ship. All Tom could do was get into his spacesuit and wait. As the space thing got closer and closer, Tom could see how large it really was. It was snake like and had to be at least a mile long and hundreds of feet wide. As it came within miles of Tom’s ship, it slowed. Eventually it had stopped and just sat there. Staring, it seems. Then, it began to coil itself around Tom’s ship. Metal groaned from the pressure and glass cracked. Tom looked outside his window at the beast. It was just like space itself was tangling itself up around him.

Machinery began to beep and lights started to die. Tom frantically checked everything he could; the energy was slowly being sucked away. It didn’t take long, perhaps a few minutes, for the ship to be rendered completely powerless. Then, nothing. No more metal groaning and no more glass cracking. Tom was stuck floating around in a powerless ship and he could do nothing about it.

Ground Control had buzzed in his ear one last time. “Major Tom, your circuit is dead. Something is wrong.” Tom didn’t reply. “Can you hear me Major Tom?”

Tom still didn’t reply. “Tom, can you hear me? Major Tom!”

Tom turned off his only contact to human life. He turned off his life support systems and stared out his window. He saw a floating bit of space going towards a blue planet. With his last breath Tom sang quietly, “Here I am floating in a tin can, far above the moon. Planet Earth is blue and there’s nothing I can do.”

Credited to Steve M.