2010 Totem Head Story Contest Honorable Mention: "Space Discovery" By Sarah Richards, 10 years old, Bellevue, Nebraska.
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Honorable Mention

Story Title: Space Discovery

Chapter 1

So there I was, rushing into Mr. Pike’s office, the commander of Space Delta, which is the space exploration team I am on.  Oh, I forgot to tell you—I’m Cassidy Flynn, Junior Astronaut just waiting for a mission.  Mr. Pike wasn’t in his office, so I took the time to look at it.  His wall color was a mixture of blue and black—the color of the star-filled sky in space.  He also had little light-up stars that turned on when the lights were off, to make it look a little more like space.  He had a desk made entirely out of honey oak wood, a Saturn lamp, a model spaceship and a chalk board.  I would have looked more, but just then Mr. Pike walked in.

"Hello, Cassidy," he greeted me.  "What can I do for you?

"Mr. Pike, I’m just dying for a mission!  I want to see the Earth from space.  I want to prove the moon is made of cheese!  Oh, Mr. Pike, please!"  I tried to convey my anticipation.

"Well…we do need a Mars Mission astronaut, but…  Oh all right," he told me.

"Who will be my partner?" I asked him, batting my eyes.  I was really hoping I would get my cousin, James, because I would at least have someone I knew with me.

"You will have Joanne Hansen, a highly trained astronaut for four years."

"One more thing," I added.  "What’s the Mars Mission ?"

"It is not yet proven that there’s a black hole inside of Mars, and we need four astronauts to officially launch the Athena spaceship into Space to dig a shovel about five feet into the ground to see if there is," Mr. Pike told me.

"Wait.  You only told me one of my partners.  Shouldn’t there be two more?"

"Oh, yes, that’s right.  Your other partners are Hank Rockford and Angelina Lilly.  Your mission will start in four weeks.  Good luck, and have fun!"

I walked out of his office.  Four weeks?  How could he be happy about that?  Splendid, I thought.  Just Splendid.

Chapter 2

As mad as I was, I decided to check out my spaceship, the Athena.  As I walked to the launching grounds, I saw another spaceship, the Luna 220.  It was white, with the green lettering on the side reading the shuttle’s name.  The letters were in italics and all capital letters.  I walked inside the spaceship.  However, I had to show my ID to two guards.  I went in.  I guess it was annual Space Day, because all my partners were in there, too.  I could see why.  The spaceship was a luxury.  It had everything from recliners to a television.  It was obvious why they were there, but I asked anyway.

"What are you guys doing here?"

"We thought the spaceship looked cool," Joanne told me.

There was a long pause.

"What’s that?" I asked.

"What?" Hank responded, obviously confused.

"That beeping.  I can hear a man saying something, also."  I was already in my spacesuit.  "Get in your spacesuit, just in case we accidentally launch," I told the crew.

They rushed to the back room.  I looked at the tiny monitor by the buttons.

"Four.  Three.  Two.  One.  Launching the Luna 220."

There was a blast of air.

"HELMETS!!" I yelled.

They all rushed to get oxygen helmets and sat down.  We had just gotten into the spaceship when it launched.

Chapter 3

"OH MY GOSH!  WHAT HAVE WE DONE?!" I screamed over the ear-busting noise of the shuttle.

The noise died down in about seven seconds, and it was pitch black.  Then the spaceship turned on its lights.

"We haven’t even gone through space training!" Joanne exclaimed.

"I know," replied Hank sadly.  "I would have loved to go on the training spinner, but nooooo.  You guys convinced me to come here!"

"You could have said no," I reminded him.

Hank sighed.

"Hey, I see a comet," mentioned Angelina.

"Probably just a star," mumbled Hank.

"Well, what should we do now?  We don’t even know what our mission is," I said.

"I thought it was the—oh, right—each ship has a different mission," Angelina told us.

"We could radio in," I suggested.

"Just go for it," said Hank.

"I don’t have to," I told him.  "Listen."

"All members of the Luna 220 mission are on board.  Repeat.  On board.  Over."

"The computer!" Joanne exclaimed.  "It’s online!"

"You all know your mission.  We will find, take and study asteroids from the Asteroid Belt.  If it gets too dangerous, press the Emergency Hatch button, and you will be flown in a space hatch back to Earth within three days.  It won’t be roomy in there, though.  Please type in your ABSD (Asteroid Belt Space Discovery) PIN to continue."

"We could try our MMSD PIN," suggested Angelina.

"I don’t think our Mars Mission Space Discovery PINs will work, but it’s worth a shot.  I’ll go first, then Angelina, Cassidy and Joanne," replied Hank.

Hank punched in with his crew, and their PINs worked.  Two days later, they had reached the Asteroid Belt.

"We are ten minutes from our mission.  CASSIDY FLYNN will go out and collect asteroids on a long rope.  Good luck, and get into all space gear, everyone.  Over," the computer told them.

I was scared.  "W-Well, we better get into our space g-gear," I stuttered.

About seven minutes later, I was ready to go.

"Good luck, Cassidy," Angelina told me.

"Yeah," Hank said.  "Get us tons of asteroids."

"I was hoping just to get three," I told him.

We all laughed and Joanne started to talk.  "Whatever happens, we’re al team.  If one goes…"  She stopped for a moment to think about this.  "…we all go," she finished.

"Risky," I told her.  Then it was time to go.  I attached the rope, and jumped out the Luna 220.

Chapter 4

I was in outer space!  I couldn’t believe it.  I tried to look at the stars, but they were way too bright.  I headed toward the Asteroid Belt, where I grabbed an asteroid.  It was harder than I thought.  Then I "swam" to the spaceship where I delivered the asteroid to Angelina.  I did the same with two more.  But by that time, I was running out of oxygen.  I wanted one more, so I quickly got one. But on my way back to the ship, I ran out of oxygen!  I held my breath the rest of the way.  There I gave it to Joanne.  She closed the shuttle door and asked me what was wrong.

"I ran out of oxygen!" I yelled.  "I had to hold my breath, and…and…"

"Slow down," she said.  "It’s over!  We completed the mission!"  She was clearly excited.

A week later, we were back at Space Delta.  Everybody congratulated us, except the original Luna 220 crew.  Mr. Pike was most excited.

"Well done.  Well done, indeed," he praised us.  "Cassidy, especially you.  You were very brave.  You had to have seen the info I sent you to the computer.  That’s how I knew it was you," he added.

I blushed.  I was finally The Girl Who Got a Mission.

Written By:   Sarah Richards, 10 years old, Bellevue, Nebraska.

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