I walked down the launchpad, marveling at the immense spacecraft in front of me. I clambered somewhat awkwardly into the cockpit. Butterflies fluttered in my stomach…no there was a tornado of butterflies in my stomach. I turned to my co-pilot who had just sat down and asked,
“You ready?” Checking a technical instrument and not looking back at me he said,
“I think now’s too late not to be.” We did our final safety checks and awaited the final systems report. The comms crackled,
“We begin countdown launch at ten. Nine. Eight. Seven.” This is it. It’s finally happening. “Six. Five. Four. Three. Two. One. Ignition.” I braced myself as the ship began to rise, it rattled and shook as we began to climb, higher, and higher. We passed the clouds and began to exit the atmosphere. We shook and rattled so much, I thought the ship would break apart. My co-pilot looked as calm as ever. We exited into orbit, and it was a smooth ride as ever. The comms crackled again,
“You are clear for exploration initiative.” I turned to my co-pilot and asked,
“Are you ready now?” He looked at me with the same calmness he had shown before.
“No.” He slammed a red button on his side of the cabin. The computer began the exploration sequence, then we blasted off into the great unknown.