The Translocation of Dr Pepper

Many residents of a small Oregon town have their lives uprooted when the soda fountain in a local diner begins to teleport, threatening the very existence of the planet at large.

This is meant to be a lighthearted, fun, and somewhat humorous story.

First draft.

Work in progress.


4. The Moral And Technological Dilemmas of a Spacegirl

.           Wendy Averalez had come away from the Pinebill Manor heist with an abundance of treasures. Her share of the stolen goods included the following: a silver necklace with a real sapphire pendant, a decorative vase made of real jade, a gold plated lamp from the Pinebill family's private collection, and a small, hand painted portrait of Marina Pinebill's Yorkshire terrier, Smoochie, now deceased. Many of the stolen items had been dropped in the grass at the graveyard because of how dark it had been when the robbery was over but nobody had wanted to risk going back for them.

.         Wendy stood in front of her bathroom mirror and put on the sapphire necklace. Blue was her favorite color because it reminded her of the sky. Well, the sky was hard to forget and tended to remind her of itself but the color blue reminded her to look up often. Wendy’s older sister, Cassandra lived in the sky so Wendy wanted to be sure she was smiling up at her sister as much as her sister was smiling down on her.

.         Whenever Wendy told people that he sister lived in space, their initial response was usually about how sorry they were for her loss. Wendy would then need to clarify that Cassandra was not dead which was, of course, why she had said that she was ‘living’ in space. Cassandra Averalez was an astronaut living alone in a recently constructed American space station called The Solstice Lab, Solstice, for short, where she studied solar flares for NASA. Wendy admired her sister but wished she could have been born half as smart. Cassandra used to say that she had gotten the smarts but her sister had gotten the looks. Wendy appreciated the attempt at consolation but knew that her sister was plenty beautiful as well. Both girls had the same raven black hair and the kind of brown eyes that appeared golden in the sunlight.

.          Because she knew she would never outshine her sister academically, Wendy placed all of her efforts into athletics and, during her senior year, became the first and only female quarterback on her high school football team, the mascot of which was the ferocious groundhog. In college, Wendy went on to win two belts in boxing and a trophy in competitive weightlifting. Cassandra would return to Earth in four months. Wendy intended to give her the jade vase as a gift when she next saw her.

.          Far above the Earth, in The Solstice Lab, Cassandra Averalez was also thinking about her sister. She was composing an email to Wendy but hadn't gotten the right wording yet. It had to be perfect before she could send it. So far, the email read:

Wendy! It's Cassandra. I hope all is well down on the blue planet. It tends to get pretty lonely up here so I really love receiving your emails. Your story about the seagull really made me laugh! I can't wait to see you in four months. Xoxox

.           The problem with the wording was that Cassandra found that mentioning her loneliness and drawing attention to the length of time until the sisters would be reunited would present a bleak sentiment. The astronaut wished she had even a single interesting story to tell her sister but the sad truth about space living was that it was dreadfully boring. Wendy always wrote with tales of high adventure she had had with her friends. Once, she had written Cassandra to tell her about a time when a squirrel got trapped in her house and tore up all the drapes before her friend, Elouise, finally caught it and threw it out a second story window in a panic. For Cassandra, however, everyday was pretty much the same. Nothing ever happens in space.

.          Because Cassandra was the only resident of Solstice, she was able to bring more personal items than the usual regulation allowed. Her favorite thing to do was chew five pieces of bubblegum at the same time and record the shape of the bubbles she blew at zero g in the journal she had been given to study the psychological effects of her extreme isolation.

.           She never really felt all that lonely though. She had plenty of contact with the world below via emails and radio signals. Cassandra only wished she could make her radio play music instead of always staying tuned to NASA’s communication channels. She did, however, have a CD player that she had brought as a personal item and was listening to what she considered to be the Solstice Lab theme song: Walking on Sunshine by Katrina and The Waves. It was her favorite song and she knew every word. She would have been singing along had it not been for the massive wad of bubblegum occupying her mouth.

.           Cassandra unbuckled herself from her seat and floated through the air, maneuvering towards the storage area. It was a series of locked drawers and cabinets that kept things from floating away. The doors were transparent so Cassandra could see what was inside. She took the key ring from her belt and unlocked the drawer containing her journal. The journal was covered in stickers of cartoon planets, aliens, and rocket ships from a book of stickers Wendy had given her before she left Earth. It was time for Cassandra’s daily entry.


Dr. C Averalez

8/28/18 (probably)

SL day 62

Status: Pretty sure I'm alive.

That's a joke, obviously.


.          It's been more than two months since I got here and, in case you were wondering, I'm not totally crazy yet. I actually enjoy the solitude up here. It gives me time to think about things. Every time I look out the window and see our little blue planet, I can't help but think how many of our problems would be solved if everyone took a deep breath and a brief nap. Probably none but it's a nice thought nonetheless. Solar activity has increased dramatically over the past several weeks. Nothing to worry about down on the ground but it's all very exciting to me. My sister, Wendy, wrote to me yesterday and mentioned that she was getting over a cold she had contracted after swimming in a lake with her clothes on. It made me realize how lucky I am that I didn't have a cold when I boarded Solstice. The way the air up here is recycled, I don't think I ever would have gotten rid of it. I know these journal entries are fairly boring to read so I want to apologize in advance to the poor psychology grad student who will eventually have to read them to get a doctorate. I know you're rooting for me to go insane so this can be somewhat exciting. Sorry, but the bubbles you blow in space are still mostly just circles.


.           Cassandra closed her journal and put it back in its drawer along with the pen she had used and locked the drawer back. Static crackled out of the radio. Cassandra turned off her music to listen and then tuned the radio so the the sound could be heard clearly. It was a woman’s voice she did not recognize.

.          “This is a clearance level ninety-five broadcast with an update on the Oregon situation. There are approximately five months remaining before total planetary annihilation. Agents Bravo and Foxtrot have yet to find a way to neutralize the threat. This is to remain a matter of extreme secrecy… Not even the president is allowed this information.”

.          The astronaut could not believe her ears. To her knowledge, clearance levels only went up as high as eight. Why was she receiving this transmission? She believed for a moment that she had imagined the broadcast. Once she could confidently assert that she had not, she made her response.

.           “This is Dr. Cassandra Averalez to Ground Control. Can you please repeat and clarify your most recent transmission? Over.”

.           The was a long silence. Then,

.           “This is Ground Control to Solstice. Negative. You were not meant to receive the transmission in question. Please disregard any information you may have received. Over.”

.          “Averalez to Ground Control. I will disregard. However, my younger sister lives in Oregon. Is she is danger? Over.”

.          “Ground Control to Solstice. There is no crisis in Oregon. Your communications may have been receiving faulty signals. As a result, they will be terminated for routine maintenance. Out.”

.          Static again. Then piercing silence. The most statistically lonely girl in the universe tried several times in vain to reestablish radio contact before finally giving up. She strapped herself into her chair to finish her email to Wendy. The more she read over it, the more she thought it sounded fine. She tried to send it but her computer claimed there was an error. Cassandra tried again. And again. And again. None of her attempts at sending her email were successful. Each time, she received and error message telling her that it could not be sent.

.          The astronaut furiously unbuckled and unlocked the storage draw which held her journal. She had something to add to her entry.

.          NASA has blocked all of my communications. I fear they are covering up an eminent disaster lever event. This will be my final journal entry. The world deserves transparency when it comes to its own end. If I am the only person alive who can give the people that information, then they will hear it from me. Up here, I may be isolated, but I am untouchable. To conclude: I am going rogue.

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