Pardon my absence from blogging throughout December. It was a shit month full of miserable, painful health issues. Hopefully, some of those are on the mend now with a new doctor. But it seems the new year is starting off on a rocky note too.
Today, we say good-bye to David Bowie, the Little Prince, the man who taught us there would be changes, and most perhaps importantly, taught us to love ourselves, no matter how much pressure we were under. Along with outspoken rock gods like Freddie Mercury, he helped cement my non-conformist personality, taught me to let me freak flag fly, and kept me speaking the truth no matter how uncomfortable it made others to hear.
In short, this timeline, our very reality, is diminished now that you have passed. May your greatest adventures await you across the Veil, Starman.
Nigh a decade ago or more, I “served” in Obsidian Fleet as Chief Tactical Officer aboard the USS Cerberus with a creative, fun crew of Star Trek fanfiction writers who helped spur my imagination too. They assisted me working on critical writing skills, such as dialogue, plotting, action sequences, and character development. However, we often did solo posts about our characters in their off-duty hours and such. This is one that I wrote as a tribute to David Bowie and his song “Space Oddity”, about unfortunate astronaut Major Tom, which felt appropriate Terran Thomas Jackson Lasitter, the headstrong young tactical officer I was playing at the time, who once upon a time arose to the rank of Captain with his own command. But that is another story for another day.
Today is a day to eulogize a man we all loved and respected. With this award-winning post, I paid tribute to him long ago, and I would like to share it with you now. I post it with the utmost respect to him and to any copyrights owned by others involved in this post. I do not, nor do I claim, ownership of any copyrights or lyrics associated with “Space Oddity” or “Star Trek.” I am simply a fan of both, paying tribute to them at the same time, much the same way both Gene Roddenberry and David Bowie combined science fiction and social issues with their respective media in innovative ways that changed us all forever. Thank you for that and more.
With love and respect, I humbly offer my submission to the Ziggy Stardust Society:
((Apollo Capsule. . .Command & Control. . .C.A. 1969 A.D.))
The radio blared to life. Tom’s eyes fluttered in his uneasy slumber. Someone was trying to contact him on the comm.
“Houston to Major Tom. Come on, Tom, wake up. Time to take your nourishment pills, put your helmet on, and go.”
Shaking off the artificially induced state, the young man wearing a mid-21st century Terran space suit blinked a few times and reached for the protein pack. Swallowing the gelatin-coated nourishment and washing it down with a powered orange drink, he was ready to proceed with the mission.
“Major Tom to Houston. I’m ready for Phase II at your discretion.”
“This is Houston, Tom. It’s time to leave the capsule if you dare.”
“Transmission acknowledged. . .I’m just stepping out the door.”
Several minutes passed before he had managed to maneuver outside of the capsule to the lander coupled to the underside of the slightly larger vessel. He settled into the cramped interior of the tiny craft and keyed the mike, “Houston, this is Tom. The Eagle is powered up, and I’m set to launch.”
“Houston to Major Tom. We all just want you to know that you’ve really made the grade. The newspapers want to know if you realize what kind of difference this will make for all of man.”
The young astronaut chuckled to himself. “Hey, I’m just up here floating in a tin can far above the world. I’m getting paid to look at stars as far as I can see. . .you guys are the ones dealing with the real problems back on Earth. This program is the one that has
made the difference. . .in me. Thanks for the opportunity to be here. Tell my family that I love them very much.
“They know, Tom. Check your ignition sequence, Major. . .we’re all set to go down here.”
Flipping several of the analog switches and dials to their mission ready positions, Tom joined ground control in the countdown for the release of the lunar lander from the orbiter capsule. At T minus Zero, the roughly hemispherical craft detached from the mothership and sped towards the pock-marked, desolate surface of the moon.
Moments later, the control panel of the lander flickered a few times and went dead. Tom worked furiously to reset the power, but it was a fruitless expenditure of energy. He knew that there was nothing that he could do.
“Houston to Major Tom, your circuits are dead. . .there’s something wrong. . .can you hear me, Tom. . .can you hear me, Tom. . .can you hear me, Tom. . .” the radio trailed off as the backup generator slowly died, plunging the cabin into almost total darkness.
Left floating in his tin can not far above the moon, he felt the gravity well begin to pull the ship towards the surface in an un-powered descent. Piloting the lander without the aid of the thrusters would be next to impossible, but he was determined not to crash and
burn. . .
Approaching the rough lunar landscape at not too steep of an angle, Tom would be surprised if the ship did not sheer apart on impact. Luckily, he managed to dump the volatile fuel mixture well before impact, so he should not have to worry about being consumed in a giant conflagration.
God’s love must have been with him because he lived long enough to wake up amidst the remains of his shattered vessel. Everything was ruined. . .well, almost everything. . .at least, his suit, his crash seat, and his body were intact. Tom was breathing in a most peculiar way, but he was thankful to be drawing air into his lungs at all.
Although it took him a while to untangle himself from the wreckage, he was in no hurry. After all, he was a long way from home and pick up was not only improbable but impossible.
Clear of the wreckage, the battered astronaut lumbered along the surface for the first and last time in his life. At last, he settled down on the edge of a monstrous, impassable crater and waited for the Earth to rise.
Planet Earth was blue. . .there was nothing left to do. Once the air was all but gone, Major Tom unlatched his helmet, lifted it up, and. . .
=/\=PROGRAM TERMINATED DUE TO CASUALTY.=/\=
Still clad in the space suit, Lieutenant Lasitter rose to his feet in the now empty holodeck and smiled at his creativity for holodeck programming. He just hoped that David Bowie would have been as proud of it, too.
OOC: These events occurred onboard the USS Cerberus. . .Deck
. . .Holodeck 2. . .Stardate 58248.8
This off-the-wall tribute to “Ground control to Major Tom” brought to you by:
LT Thomas J. Lasitter (aka Jeremy Hicks)
USS Cerberus (NCC-77919)
TF-72B Black Ravens
==Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.==