A Stenographic Space Odyssey

Chapter 1: Seat Belts

Frank Turner couldn’t stop looking at the picture of his daughter.

“This is going to be a bumpy ride”, Marvin said. “Mmmmm…hmm.” He flicked a few switches. “But we’re looking good.” His deep voice almost had a song in it. Not at all unusual for Frank’s co-pilot.

Frank started jostling in his seat. Everything was shaking in the cockpit.

“Launch, baby!” Marvin’s voice seemed to hang in the air as everything began shaking violently and the two, lone astronauts sank into their seats. Slowly, the rocket left Earth.

Frank forced his eyes to look up and take in what was happening around him. His hands unconsciously dropped by his side, reaching for the handles beside his seat, the picture of his daughter cartwheeled off to his side.

“Dammit!”

Marvin didn’t seem to notice.

“Lordy…” Marvin’s voice was muffled and - like everything else - shaking. Frank thought he heard a tinge of fear, too.

“All clear. Looking.. ood…” Mission Control warbled across the intercom, oblivious to the fact that the world was falling apart.

A high-pitched whine outside the rocket started to sing above the chaos. Clouds whipped past the windows now at insane speeds. But with the climbing speed came steadiness. They were settling into their trajectory. Finally.