Mars or Bust!
Chapter 12: Count Down to Mars

Copyright© 2021 by GT Dodge

All Johnny ever said again about Linc being marooned was “Go figure.”

It’s true I cried. I don’t remember anything about the launch. Except one thing, it sounds like a funny thing, but Linc lied to me. Told me the day before he went onto the base that he would secretly be in Salt Lake City, shhh. Said they’d already filmed him in the Habitat door, making a speech. Once he went into the elevator, they’d cut over to a replay of all that and sneak him off to a condo out by the Great Salt Lake. Linc lies worse than Johnny.

Olgu coaxed the tale out of Johnny for the Anniversary Special. “This end,” he said, “It all went like clockwork. I never cried. Sharmaine cried, that was her job. I patted her hand. That was my job.” I’ve had my hands patted by pros, Johnny.

“Sharmaine cried before they sealed the Habitat. I never cried, just patted her hand. Linc was dancing a jig in his spacesuit. His happy jig. His words, carried by the radio from the space suit helmet, nice touch, putting the helmet on him before he even got into the Habitat.

Those words are copyright, le Foundation. You’ve heard them over and over. I won’t repeat them here.

“Sharmaine cried after they sealed the Habitat. I never cried. Patted her hand. Linc: the brave, joking face on TV.

“Sharmaine cried through the last bit of the countdown. I never. I patted her hand and tried hard to breathe silently and smile at the same time.

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