Up There so High

What do you get when you have a space fanatic, a runaway princess and a bunch of miscreants? Well, you get the three E's; Explosions, Expletives and Enemies.
You may not laugh along with this story but you may sing (because the main space man is very much fond of that).

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10. The Release

 

~The Release~

~Everett~

 

Prison was hard okay. Especially for a thief of NASA. Everett was lucky in being the only person in Britain to be a Cyber Thief from NASA. He didn’t know if there was one in America but it hadn’t been Everett’s fault, not really, so he could be excused a little. 

His sentence was up and two years were a bit harsh if you asked him. But it was finally up and that meant an end to the bad meals, an end to one phone call a day, a dampener on Everett’s creative genius, and the need to bribe people twenty four seven.

Prison was something else.

He had used his one phone call to phone Morton who still had some faith in him since the rather tearful call two years ago. There had been ugly crying faces and blubbering messes of conversations as Everett said to his friend that he wouldn’t see him for another two years.

That had been a hard phone call.

But the two years were up and Everett could not be happier. The orange jumpsuit was rather itchy and didn’t go with his complexion if you asked him.

Two and a bit years away from Morton had done nothing to change him. He was still addicted to coffee, since he held a huge, huge, to go cup for himself and one for Everett. Everett had changed in the two years, he had to because prison did not call for the weak. Being weak was what got him pushed into the underground prison fight system in the first place. Prisoner going against prisoner in the name of better food and not being knocked out by the head honcho Mr. Bradley Kings, a fellow prisoner in there for some horrible deed or another. Everett had forgot what exactly it was.

A cop whistled as he escorted Everett to the gates where Morton was waiting. “Please refrain from more crime Mr. Tyson,” he grumbled as he opened the gates and watched as Everett sauntered over to the waiting car. He was finally free. He never had to see those assholes ever again.

“You look miserable for just being released from prison,” Morton remarked as he held out the coffee for his friend. They had exchanged phone calls and two physical meetings within his prison stint but nothing was better than not having a time limit on seeing his friend.

“The world is miserable anyway,” Everett joked as he took the coffee and swigged half of it, never minding the scalding sensation it left on his throat. Who needed an inner lining in their throat anyway?

“You’ve turned cynical on me,” Morton answered going to the other side of the car to the driver’s side. He had missed this, the closeness that prison disliked. Everett was stupid to land himself in prison for something so pointless but Everett already knew that, he didn’t need Morton throwing his two pence in on the idea.

“Prison would do that to a person Mort,” Everett swung himself into the leather seats of Morton’s old car. Morton had managed to secure it after one of his essays was published in a fancy book of mythology.

“What was it like, seriously?” Morton had asked this question often, try on every phone call and meeting they had, and Everett had thrown it off with a pun or a laugh. Prison had made him more closed off and less likely to trust people. But Morton knew that Nick Thornby had been the root cause of that.

“Hard, it’s prison after all,” Everett sighed, drinking the last of his coffee and stealing Morton’s, “But everyone is a teddy bear if you give them what they want.”

Silence elapsed and all that could be heard was the electronic voices of modern day music. Morton knew that new music annoyed Everett, that’s why he had tuned all of his radio stations to play only new music. Everett much preferred actual voices and beats using actual instruments.

Everett propped his elbow on the door and opened the window, allowing the air to flood the car. This feeling of freedom had not been felt since Everett had first arrived at NASA. The nostalgia was almost stifling.

“Home will be less hard I would think,” Morton implored as he turned to face Everett for just a second. Road safety was important and he couldn’t be distracted.

“I haven’t been home in nearly two and a half years, so I would think so,” Everett smiled and did nothing to move his eye line from the scenery. The blur of green reminded him of planets and in truth he hadn’t been able to see the stars properly in two years. Prison drained the soul from a person, which was the point of it, to make you regret whatever you had done.

Home was the same ratty apartment that himself and Morton had rented a lifetime ago. His share of the rent still went out of his bank account every month. With the money that Morton had been able to obtain he had freshened it up a bit. The carpet had been renovated, no longer the shaggy brown but a rather stylish grey, and there were two bachelor-esque red leather sofa’s in the place of the old one that they picked up from a charity shop.

“You turned it into a bachelor pad,” Everett said appalled as he dropped himself onto the sofa.

“Well I was a bachelor for two years, the house has to reflect the man,” Morton replied with a smirk, dropping the car keys on the kitchen bench. He needed coffee since Everett stole half of his.

“It’s good to be home,” Everett muttered and chucked a pillow off of Morton for his earlier comment.

That night they ordered Chinese food and got beer. They stayed up until the early hours watching boxing matches and nature documentaries. This was what Everett had been missing out on for the last two years and for a brief moment he wished that he had never got accepted into NASA at all. Then he willed the thought away, NASA was NASA and it taught him things.

They were sitting in the aphotic room, beers held in lax grips, listening to David Attenborough when Morton spoke truthfully, “You are alright though aren’t you Ever?”

He hadn’t called him Ever since the early days.

“You’re not my therapist Mort,” Everett laughed and swigged his beer, the taste not registering in his mouth, “But yeah, prison doesn’t reform you, it makes you smarter.”

That wasn’t a definite answer but it was an answer and Morton was satisfied, for now. Prison may have changed Everett a little but the base elements were still there and they always would be.

It was then that Everett remembered his computer, the one that still presumably held the NASA notes on it.

In the darkness Everett smiled. 

 

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