Special Circumstances

Re-Run all Pre-Flight Tests

Location: Spirit of Cooperation – Human space station atop Space Elevator One, Earth

Running on a treadmill, wearing a one-piece jumpsuit, covered with electrodes, beepers, wires, and gauges was not what Matilda had envisioned when she was invited to the Joint Scientific Cultural Exchange Mission. She was a distinguished Diplomat after all, and she was recruited for her skills in diplomacy, not athletic ability.

But now she was an astronaut. They were all astronauts. And this was part of the pre-flight checklist. Admiral Hart had had them run through these same tests 47 times this week.

Dr Miranda Rin remarked from across the room, "alright Tilly, your biometrics are all in the expected boundries. Another green mark, take a break. "

This was a busy day; the last day before launch. The last day before leaving earth behind. And! the Earth they would come back to wouldn’t be the same. Yesterday wasn’t even the same. With all that humanity was learning from the Zou, the science, the art, and culture of humanity was changing so very fast. Public opinion was that was a good thing. People’s strength to adapt and grow.

But back to the mission at hand. Checklists, Inspections, and Simulations to be done. Then departure on the Zou Spacescraft. Its name was odd, “Tree Sinking Painting” was an approximate translation. Sinking sounded ominous at first, but it was a Zou reference for traveling through hyperspace. Nothing to fear.

The Zou Captain “ShhZet” assured the the human crew they would be honored guests on their ship, and on their home-world in the Orion Spur. There was no need for such rigorous tests, as Zou technology made space flight much more comfortable and safe, said the Aliens.

But Admiral Hart had his tests. And before leaving Earth for their 4 month journey, the crew would do them a final, 48th time.

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