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).


3. The Passion


~The Passion~



Everett Tyson was the kind of person who drank vodka from a paper bag on a rusty merry go round in an equally rusty playground. He did that when he was fifteen and something in the way that the dying sun shined on him made him wonder on what the sun would look like from up there. He knew that seeing the sun was illogical but it gave life to his new passion.

Space fascinated him. Everything was so full and empty at the same time. Spaces within space were infinite and held the materials that gave humans life in the first place. Space was something else. It was a dark blanket, contrasting blues and blacks and yellows, like a bruise but put together in indefinite shapes. These colours didn’t mix, they were just there, and something made them that way. Stars broke up these colours, smattering it with dots or blurs or smears. It was full of intricate patterns. That was space. And Everett wanted to explore it.

It’s why he took a physics and astronomy degree in University when the time came.

Everett Tyson was also the type of person to change his behaviour just a little. While he swapped his vodka for body shots and parties, he also dedicated two thirds of his week to research and essays. The equations were long and daunting but looking up at telescopes and the wide expanse of the sky was worth it.

His flatmates were a diverse group. There was Alex and Louise, the party girls who were Psychology and English Literature students respectively. Max who was the aspiring doctor doing medicine, they rarely saw him because he was always in the labs but he seemed nice enough. And Morton finished up their line-up, he claimed that his parents hated him because of the name they had chosen for him, and he was just about as obsessed with Mythology as Everett was about Space. They deserved the capitalisation because of the sheer passion the two had for their relative subjects.

Morton Jones was the only one that Everett spoke to on a more spiritual level. Morton followed Everett into the fields beyond their campus with a bag full of books and coffee. He watched over Everett as he sunk into his jar of smooth peanut butter and looked up through the telescope. Morton would offer oh’s and ah’s and push up his reading glasses to help him read the lines through the light of the held torch. Everett was iffy about torch lights, he always said that any light would weaken the view of the sky.

Everett Tyson was the only one that Morton trusted when he went on a research binge, staying in the library for twenty eight hours straight, living off coffee and energy drinks. He would go on long lectures about a legend, maybe a Greek God and how they were flawed in many ways, and Everett would sit, hand Morton a piece of fruit so that he didn’t die, and go back to doing an equation or proof reading his latest essay.

Then when the weekend came, Morton went to his parents and Everett went to the party scene of the city. It was a pattern that worked.

Until their final year. When research projects blew time out of proportion. Morton tracking the werewolf legends through time and European countries, and Everett debating whether alien species were possible in their solar system. The party scene seemed non-existent to Everett and Morton lived in the library or in his room surrounded by a constructed cube of books and papers.

Everett had only been in this constructed cube twice. The first time was to break Morton out of a research hysteria, where coffee was spilled and books were dropped. Luckily no books were harmed in the occurrence of this hysteria however. The second time it was for his own demonstration of hysteria, where Everett was on the verge of giving up and retiring to a field with nothing more than a telescope, peanut butter and his own underwear.

Dissertations almost broke them apart but graduation tied them back together.

The pictures of them in their cap and gowns, their arms around each other with smiles on their faces, were placed on the mantel piece of their new shared apartment. It was run-down and nondescript but it was something. Morton got a job at a discount book store down the road to give him money for rent and to fund his aspiring research projects. Everett drifted around the apartment, taking on more temporary work experience gigs in many research fields. The application to work at NASA always stayed a bookmark on his laptop but it hadn’t been completed yet.

The year was 2029, a year after graduation, and the 'apocalypse' had come and gone. The ‘apocalypse’ was in the form of a second industrial age where technological advancements had curbed off climate change for another thousand years and made robots a thing of the modern day. In their tiny apartment it was hard to see the real effects of the ‘apocalypse’ but Everett knew that it was out there, he had seen it in some of the labs. The robots were capable of carrying out tasks which were too dangerous for a human. Who cared if a robot got destroyed in the cross fire? As long as a human hadn’t then it was fine.

Now the focus was on sending people into space, not because they had to, Earth would survive for many of thousands of years if they could make it that long, but because they could. It was only when Everett and Morton were watching their small, flat television where a space shuttle was going to blast off in America somewhere, that Everett became wholly infatuated. They were eating peanut butter, Everett’s smooth and Morton’s crunchy because he was an animal, and they announced that they were going to Mars, the first human batch to live an entire year on Mars. NASA’s next batch would be to penetrate the thick atmosphere of Venus and survive there. Space-shuttles had done it before, now it was time for a crew to go up.

“Everett if you can’t handle British weather how on earth are you going to handle the storms of Venus?” Morton groaned, putting another spoonful of peanut butter into his mouth and leaning back.

“You’ll see,” Everett murmured and finished his jar, immersing himself further into the broadcast. When Morton fell asleep, and the clocks were verging on four in the morning, Everett opened his laptop and began to finally fill in the application he had bookmarked since graduation.

Everett Tyson was the type of person to dream with his eyes open and wonder on what Venus looked like from up there. 


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