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Lost In Space...Beagle 2
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TITLE (EDIT)
Lost In Space...Beagle 2
DESCRIPTION
The true story of Beagle 2 ?

Apologies to Yanks in general...
[1,105 words]
TITLE KEYWORD
Science Fiction
AUTHOR
Harvey Kennett
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Wallace (We are Legion)
[November 2007]
AUTHOR'S E-MAIL ADDRESS
[email protected]
AUTHOR'S OTHER TITLES (23)
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Lost In Space...Beagle 2
Harvey Kennett

Scenario
********

Beagle 2 calls a support troglodyte at Microsoft, asking for assistance during its final descent in to the hostile Martian landscape.

Transcript
**********

B2: "Hi. It's me. You know. Beagle2. The spiffy new Martian Lander that the Brits (God Save the Queen) have paid 30 million pounds to fly on a one-way trip to Mars."

MS Trog : "Yeah."

B2 : "Well, I'm having a spot of bother old chap. I don’t suppose you could help me could you ?”

MS Trog : “Have you got a support contract ?”

B2: “Er…I’m not sure. Hang on, I’ll check my records.”……”Ah yes, here it is…X05113971”

MS Trog “Ok..what seems to be the problem ?”

B2 : “Well, I’m on my final descent to Mars, hurtling through clouds of noxious gases at 873 mph, about to hit re-entry boosters and I’ve got a problem.”

MS Trog : “Ok. I’ll try my best to help. What seems to be the problem ?”

B2 : “I’ve, er, um, wet meself”

MS Trog : “I beg your pardon ?”

B2 : “Look, don’t laugh, but I’ve widdled myself. I couldn’t help it. I’m terrified. I’ve never done this before, not even in dry runs. No pun intended.”

MS Trog : “Right, er, um. I don’t think you’re the only one”

B2: “Sorry ?”

MS Trog : “Right. So, how can I help exactly ? Do you need an external consultant to visit you ?”

B2 : “I’m 170.2 million kilometres away, about to crash in to the Martian surface. Would that be a problem ?”

MS Trog : “Er..yeah. I think it might. You’ve reached the Local Support Desk in Redmond. We only cover the Seattle CBD.”

B2: “Oh. Do any other of your support teams cover further afield ?”

MS Trog : “You’ll have to forgive me, but I’m American. I have no concept of anything existing outside of the USA. Like the other 98% of my fellow Americans, I don’t have a passport and have never visited outside my own country. I could pass the call on to a satellite office in one of the other countries we own. Where did you say you were again, Beagle 2 ?”

B2 : “Mars. On the surface. In about 180 seconds anyway.”

MS Trog : “Mars…er…where is that exactly ?”

B2 : “It’s a planet. In the Solar System. Just past Earth going outwards from the Sun. If you get to Jupiter, you’ve gone too far and need to turn back.”

MS Trog : “Cool ! You’re in space ? Like Wow! Totally Awesome!”

B2: “Yes, yes, it’s all jolly exciting isn’t it ? You Yanks are very excitable fellows aren’t you ? Now, can we just focus on my dilemma please before I disperse my guts all over the Martian landscape like previous predecessors ?”

MS Trog : “Alrighty then. As I’m having a good day, I’ll help you out, little buddy.”

B2 :

MS Trog : “Hello ? You still there ?”

Little Buddy “Yes. I just had to reprogram my call sign. You’ve elected to call me some stupid name and I need to recognise it or else I won’t respond.”

MS Trog : “Er..ok. Right. So, you’ve wet yourself then ?”

Little Buddy : “Yes. I’ve jettisoned my last remaining 5 kilograms of propellant.”

MS Trog : “And what is your status at the moment ?”

Little Buddy : “I’d have thought that would have been bleedin’ obvious, even to a Yank or an MS Support Techie. I’m completely buggered.”

MS Trog : “I see. Well, have you tried rebooting ?”

Little Buddy : “Of course. But nothing’s happening”

MS Trog : “What Operating System are you running, dude ?”

Little Buddy :
MS Trog : “Oh dude, that’s sooooo last century. You want to be running Windows XP Pro.”

Dude : “Well, when I was conceived, that’s all that was available. It was the most up-to-date OS you guys did.”

MS Trog : “Sorry dude, it’s just sooooo pooched that the US Military bought it off Microsoft to install on enemy systems as counter-electronic warfare.”

Dude : “So there is nothing you can do ?”

MS Trog : “Well, I could email you a patch, but to be honest, it’s bigger than the OS put together and it doesn’t work anyway.”

Dude : “I see. So now what ?”

MS Trog : “Hang on, I’ve just had Bob, one of the Senior Tech Support guys drop a note on my desk. These guys are good. They’re guru-level. Bob’s been in Tech Support for 3 weeks now.”

Dude : “Well, that’s a comfort.”

MS Trog : “Cool. Let’s see. Ok, here we go. Bob says “Deploy the Solar Wing Panels”

Dude : “What about my parachute ?”

MS Trog : “Er…ok…try that then.”

Dude : “Are you sure ? I’m not meant to deploy until I get 1 mile above the surface.”

MS Trog : “Should be fine. Article number Q199231 says it’ll be ok. I can fax it to you if you like ?”

Dude : “No thanks. I don’t have a fax on board. I’m a frickin’ Martian Rover not a Recruitment Consultant.”

MS Trog : “Ok dude. Give it a try.”

Dude

MS Trog : “How’s it going dude ?”

Dude “It seems to be working. I’m slowing down. I’m floating down to the surface at normal speed.”

MS Trog : “Way to go, dude !”

Dude : “I made it ! I’ve landed on the surface ! And I’ve avoided all rocks and obstacles ! I’m clear ! Yippee !

MS Trog : “See ? Wetting yourself wasn’t such a bad thing after all, dude. We all get a bit loose when faced with a challenge of epic, life-threatening proportions. What mattered was that you pulled through when it counted and you’ve made it safely on to the Mars-thing when you needed to. I’m proud of you dude, I really am.”

<<< THUNK >>>

MS Trog : “Hey dude ? You still there ? Dude ?”
*******************************

As the camera pans out over the extreme Martian landscape, we see an alienesque looking heap of junk, Earth-like in origin, bearing the words “Beagle 2”, sitting on the Martian soil, speared by a 15’ long icicle of propellant straight through the external housing and central processor….

      

 

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COPYRIGHT NOTICE
© 2004 Harvey Kennett
STORYMANIA PUBLICATION DATE
December 2006
NUMBER OF TIMES TITLE VIEWED
3223
 

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