Space Date: Part 1

When immortal soldiers, and sociopathic assassins are out to kill you, your friends, and your family, you lose track of the important things in life.

For example, I’d lost track of the fact that I had a spaceship in my basement.

I’ll write that again with more appropriate emphasis.

I had a spaceship.

In. My. Basement.

A SPACESHIP.

As someone who’d watched the space shuttle lift off on TV, watched science fiction, read science fiction, and spent a lot of time thinking about science fiction, the question of whether I’d actually use it didn’t exist.

The question was when.

And how.

And whether or not I’d manage to blow myself up in the process.

I’d spent a lot of time bringing the League “jet” out of mothballs, so blowing myself up wasn’t likely. Unfortunately, I’d heard a lot of stories from my grandfather about things he’d done in space. What I’d gained from those stories was that even if I didn’t manage to blow myself up, there were plenty of aliens out there that were willing to do it on general principle.

Fortunately, not a lot of those guys had any reason to be near Earth.

Well, with the exception of the Xiniti, and they were there as much for our protection as they were to stop us from acquiring alien tech.

Let’s rephrase that. They were there as much for our protection as they were to destroy the planet if we showed signs of acquiring alien technology, expanding into space, and committing genocide.

To be fair, they had some reason to worry, but it still felt like overkill to me.

So that’s why, when I finally did decide to take the League jet into space, I didn’t do it with the idea that I’d be putting the human race in danger. Grandpa had told me the Xiniti were okay with the League jet. I did it because I loved the idea of leaving the planet, and possibly for another reason or two.

Haley looked up at me, “You want to make out in space?”

It was a little after seven on Friday night. We were both in HQ, and were going to do something together. We just didn’t know exactly what.

“Well… That’s not the whole reason. I mean, there are stars. We could orbit the Earth. That’s romantic. Right? Honestly, I’d want to go even if you weren’t here just to do it.”

She raised an eyebrow.

The great thing about superheroes dating superheroes is that you don’t have to do any of the “hiding your secret identity” stuff, and running around corners to change into costume, and pretend to be a coward or something.

The bad thing is that you might end up dating someone whose sense of hearing is so good she can hear your heartbeat speed up when you shade the truth, or smell your scent change when you become nervous. Or aroused.

In short, lying was useless.

Still, I wasn’t inviting her along to make out. Flying into space would be the fulfillment of a dream, and having the two of us to do it together would be better. We could watch a movie or go out for coffee any time, but this was different. Tonight, we could join the few people who had ever left Earth’s gravity well. That was incredible.

I couldn’t deny though, that part of me hoped we’d do more than talk.

“And besides,” I said, “if we did want some privacy, who could bother us?”

She gave a laugh, and then became a little more serious. “Is it safe?”

“I asked Isaac a couple days ago, and he said they haven’t had problems lately.”

26 thoughts on “Space Date: Part 1”

  1. The Babylon Project was our last, best hope for peace.

    A self-contained cherry-red convertible/slightly muddy pickup five miles long, located a couple of feet behind the Playboy Channel’s satellite. A place of commerce and diplomacy for a quarter of a million humans and aliens. A shining makeout point in space….all alone in the night.

    It was the dawn of the Third Age of Mankind-the year the Great War came upon us all.

    This is the story of the last of the Babylon dates. The year is 2011. The bumper sticker says “If this station’s rockin’, don’t come a-knockin'”

  2. @ Eli — yeeeaaaaaaahhh I fail to see how this could possibly go well.

    Interesting thing — this is the most “irresponsible teenager” I’ve seen Nick be.

  3. Yes, there are issues of where “Lovers Lane” is in space. But, in space your ship is the only thing between you and an environment that will cheerfully kill you in a number of different unpleasant ways. I’d have thought a date on the Moon might be considered romantic? Maybe a quick fly-by of the Apollo lander? I’ll admit I’m curious as to whether the alien overwatch has allowed any superhero/villain lunar bases…

    Then there are the invisible Orbital Mind Control Lasers… [grin]

  4. So unless we secretly build up an army of super robots capable of wiping these celestial watchdogs off the face of the universe in shielded underground bunkers we can’t leave the planet? Well no worries th- I mean who could possibly do such a thing? Not I, for I am but a simply lizard genetically designed to destroy an advanced race of bio-tech wielding aliens.

  5. Didn’t Earth just repel an alien invasion fleet while the League was busy with the Executioner or something?

    Also, I don’t think said aliens have issues with humans developing starship technology. They probably have issues with other alien races giving more advanced weapons to a race self-centered enough to kill its own members for profit. And they also probably have issues with humans finding and using Abominator technology.

  6. RHJunior/Guile/Belial: I tend to see the Xiniti as following a kind of Prime Directive, but with an eye toward enforcement and a much twitchier trigger finger than the Federation. We’ll discover a little bit of why in the near future, and a lot when we get back to the story’s main arc.

    That being said, Earth didn’t so much repel an invasion as take out some pirates. Think Somali pirates instead of “Pirates of the Caribbean” if you’re looking for a parallel. They’re more interested in making money by any means necessary than anything else.

  7. This sorts of redefine the definition of the mile high club.
    Making out in space…wow who thinks of these things and how could I do it 🙂

  8. U.S.S. Enterprise – Constitution Class Cruiser
    Registered – NCC – 1701
    Commander – James T. Kirk
    Constructed at Utopia Planetia, Mars and San Francisco Shipyards, Earth
    Commissioned – Stardate 1864.1
    Launched – Stardate 1908.3

    Approval – Pending from the Xiniti Human Oversight and General Snobbish Interference Bureau

    ….Nope, that wouldn’t rock. At all.

  9. Different species in various fiction have different names for it, from Prime Directive to Path of Now and Forever, but it seems a common dogma for galactic civilizations to keep others ignorant and confined to their homeworlds as much as possible. Of course the implementation and degree of enforcement vary, but the basic concept is the same.
    And if we just substitute ‘nuclear technology’ for ‘spaceflight’ we might see that we’re already doing it. I suppose that means it’s a fairly credible prediction of what a spacefaring culture would do. At least if it were us.

  10. “In Space, No One Can Hear You Scream.”
    -advertisement for Trojan Brand “Zero G-Spot” condoms

  11. Let me guess. They will meet aliens and he will come back with an armor with alien technology. He simply has too. if not i’ll go sulk in my corner and don’t comment any more. (^_^)

    Good chapter, just a little short for my taste, but good.

    regards

  12. zedd: We’ll see. I wouldn’t get my hopes up though.

    PG: You know, I think I’ve got the Babylon 5 intro pretty much memorized. Now I’m imagining a red convertible in space… And on the other comment… You know somebody’s going to market Zero G-spot condoms someday.

    IC: The hundred mile high club?

  13. Outer Space pickup lines:

    “Hey baby, let me show you my steering joystick. It’ll really rock your world.”

    “You know, we all weigh the same in space.”

    “Does my suit have a hole in it? Because you just took my breath away.”

    “You like facehugger style?”

    “You’re hot enough to turn a man into a Minbari. You won’t believe the bone I just grew.”

    “nuqDaq ‘oH puchpa’ ‘e’!”

    “Mm, mm, mm, mm, mm, you look good enough to catch a Predator.”

    “Forget that lifeless wasteland of hot steam, you’re MY Venus, baby.”

    “Hey baby, this docking sequence gives me ideas. Y’know; left, down, rotate 62 degrees, engage rotor.”

    “My name…..is…..Captain Kirk.”

  14. Reading this makes me think about Lee/Gunther again…
    So, he is good at music and fighting? Music which may usefully involve other musicians, and fighting (rather than slaughter or genocide) which also involves other beings.
    So, maybe his race thinks he is a monster and pervert, to be hunted down and erased, becauce they are all zenophobes, while he is a zenophile? [grin]

  15. Reread everything, and I caught the bit about Giles being crazy 2 years b4 getting into the power impregnator ( according to Vaughn’s reading of his grandpa’s journals). I think we can breathe a little bit easier now…

  16. Lee’s a Xenophile? See, I TOLD you he’s been injectin’ some of his own power juice into the human race…

  17. @Mazzon:

    I’d’ve never put the Prime Directive (“No touching until FTL”) and the Path of Now and Forever (“Become our janissaries or be imprisoned on your homeworld forever”) as similar.

    Admittedly, both are presumably for the benefit of the other guys; the Prime Directive more obviously. The alternative to the Path is the Eternal Doctrine, which can be summed up as “Annihilate all aliens!”

    Calling the Ur-Quan xenophobes is like calling the Pacific Ocean “damp.”

  18. Of course, all the comments about the Mile High Club are amusing to me. I live in Colorado. Specifically up in the mountains to the west/southwest of Denver. I think that I should qualify 😀

    (I know, the official qualification is that it has to be in a vehicle that is not currently touching the Earth’s surface, but it makes a great joke anyway :P)

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