UnBooks:The Second Conquest of the Moon
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Published January, 2038 by UnRandom House (New York, London, Kingston), all rights reserved.
Dedicated, with love, to Miss Baker.
Every wide-eyed schoolchild who pays the least bit attention in school or to old Tom Hanks movies knows that man went to the moon in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Twelve of their ancestors walked upon its surface. They picked up rocks, planted American flags, rode around in fully-loaded dune buggies, and posed for thousands of glossy photographs. They also passed urine into their historical urine-stained space suits, but that's one of the things people don't learn about in school. Six NASA missions, twelve moonwalkers, and the moon was man's oyster for a few ticker-tape-parade strewn years. Then in 1972 it was left alone to rot in the sun.
As the twelve Apollo astronauts who'd visited the moon and gotten it all over their clothes passed away one by one - except in that case of two by two known as the "Tom Hanks Incident" - they became icons, then legends, then historical action figures. Although they, the other early Russian and American spacemen, and the people most responsible for the pioneer earth-orbit and moon missions were eventually honored on an annual worldwide holiday, soon the nickname "Buzz" took on some kind of sexual connotation, Apollo is best known as a famous Scandinavian ska-rapper, and Tranquility Base is a hard-to-get ticket trendy Paris night spot.
Man had gloriously conquered the moon, and then given it back.
"We choose to go back to the moon in this decade and do the other things."
Lars never knew if he had a good thing going or not. Have you ever met a couple who thought they had it all - success, good looks, a nice art collection - and yet one of them had just about had enough and was ready to bail on the relationship while the other one had no clue? Yeah, you know lots of couples fitting that description. Well, that was Lars and his wife Selene.
Selene was a calm beautiful woman. She seldom caused a scene or did anything but smile at the world, treat everyone around her with total kindness, and feed raccoons, birds, and squirrels in her backyard. Selene was deeply in love with Lars ever since their third date, when she let him explore, and then to experience, her well-tuned sexuality.
Selene had become a great and affectionate lover because she had gone deep into the works, theories, and practices of one of the true giants of the 20th Century, Dr. Wilhelm Reich. She had purposely loosened in herself what Reich called "muscular armoring" - the muscle rigidity, breath-pattern disorganization, and emotional suppression built into all people since they were children. She had reached a real state of orgastic potency and sexual immersion. Selene was especially ecstatic knowing that Lars loved her, and counted himself as one of the happiest men on earth to have her as both a playmate and a helpmate.
She also knew from studying Reich and yogaic material that when the body's chemistry is given a massive jolt - like when you're so angry that you want somebody dead right now, or are soaking immobile in deep grief, or even if you fall in love at first sight - enough energy is freed up for you to grab it by its collar and aim it straight and true into your emotional baggage. You can then dig around in the trauma and in muscle tensions, loosen them up, and then, when you get enough of a handle on any section of the stuff to shift the whole package into overdrive and focus it, the best idea is to take that freed-up energy and use it for something constructive.
So it was, on a bright and warm Friday, just after going shopping with her best friend Susanah and having a wonderful time, Selene suddenly had to get that rat fuck low-life germ-covered motherfucker Lars out of the fuckin' house before she fucking killed him then and there. Moth-er Fuck-er, what in the vast nasal passage of Oprah's ghost did he think he was doing? Fucking her sister! No, he did not. He mother-fuckin' fucked her sister!? Mother FUCKER!
Selene drank two large glasses of water to hydrate, tore up her marriage license with her hands and teeth, poured ketchup, piss and grease over her wedding album, then slammed out the front-door. Knowing Reich and walking fast, Selene started to scream at the people she passed on the crowded New York sidewalks.
"Mother fucker Lars bed my bitch-ass thunder-thighed mother-fucking sister??" bellowed Selene. "Girl lays down with every Tom, Dick, and Swami and he's inside there lickin'? OH NO HE DID NOT!".
Selene looked and sounded insane, giving off an aura like any abnormal New Yorker but hyped-up about tenfold.
She kept marching, intent on carrying her "bony 'thank-you-very-much' ass" right across town, walking maybe five miles in her bare feet, getting hundreds of odd looks the whole way from normally jaded residents of the oddly-named "Big Apple". Even the dogs knew a bad thing when it's coming, and they whimpered as they slinked nearer the buildings. Selene gave the dogs and the pedestrians the finger and glared at men like they'd just punched out her saintly mother. Walking faster, spewing spit, Selene put it even further into soooo-pissed-off gear, "MY SISTER?? MY FUCKING SISTER??? HE PUT IT UP IN THERE??? OH NO HE...", stopped for a pretzel - "GOTTA KEEP UP THE CARBS" she screamed at a child as she ate two bites and gave the rest to a blind veteran - walked another half block, shoved her way past four surprised armed-guards, marched down a hall shoving another guard in front of her, upended a potted plant, burst through the doors of the General Assembly of the United Nations and yelled "You mother-fuckers ever going back to the moon or what????"
Jacques LaTree, the French ambassador to the U.N. and co-chair of the "United Nations Committee on Science, Space Exploration, and Refreshments", sat there bored out of his skull. He was half-listening to some Afghani going on and on about his countrymen not having enough clean drinking water, and right about where the "live grenades floating in dirty rivers" card was being played and LaTree was doodling arrows, circles, and a pole-vaulting bunny on his fancy United Nations notepad, suddenly he heard a loud cry of righteous anger echo throughout the hall. LaTree turned around, quick as a spark, and saw a short barefoot 300-pound Mexican woman with her hands on her hips and a desert snake tattooed on her exposed shoulder rear back her head and yell again with all her might "What in the ho-ly godforsaken FUCK are you cockroaches waiting for? You know damn well that all those guys who walked on the moon have been dead for over ten years now. You know what?I want some more of them! Lots more! 'We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things my sweet red and rosy ass'. Now you suits get me some more moon men or I swear, I'm coming back here!!"
With that Selene turned and marched out the way she'd come in, screaming for the goons to let-the-fuck-go of her arm or "I swear on my left tit no more baby juice will ever find its way out of your scrawny dicks". And LaTree, still staring at the air where the crazy lady had been, and in a spontaneous move that he was barely aware of, stood up and applauded.
The applause grew. First the ambassadors of Japan, the Netherlands, and Jamaica immediately stood and joined LaTree. Then the entire eastern European block rose as one and started cheering in some Slavic tongue. This caused the Russian ambassador to go all bug-eyed and WTF angry, 'Nyet nyet, try you show me up?', and he stood and attempted to clap and yell the loudest even though he hadn't understood one word the fat lady had said. This irritated China and India, who looked at each other and arose as one, which got the Middle-East's panties in a bunch, and so on down the line to the Phoenix Islands and Vatican City. And by the time Canada and Australia gave into the emotion of the moment, the United States, Israel, and Great Britain, cursing their dumb luck and empty pocketbooks, politely got up to unenthusiastically add to the subdued applause coming from the nations making up the Security Council and the massive overwhelming support from everyone else. By then Haiti was dancing most of all, circling round and round the Jamaican ambassador, who was standing on top his desk singing to the tune of "Redemption Song" "We choose to go....we choose to go right now.....we choose to go... we choose to go to the moon in this dec-ade, and do ... do do do...and do the other things....do the other things...the other things". Before he got to the second verse the U.N. interpreters were in a state of frenzy trying to keep up with the song while simutaneously translating the enthusiastic statements of support shouted out by the world's ambassadors.
Within thirty seconds everyone in the room knew they'd been forced to choose to go back to the moon in this decade and to do the other things. And, like always, that the United States, Great Britain, and Israel would pay for 98% of it.
Preparations to re-conquer the moon...
...took about a week. The internet tech boys and nerd-powered spaceship start-ups had been uploading, programming, and perfecting the science for decades. Any ten-year old boy with a laptop could get you to the moon. Applying available tech and hardware to the moon mission didn't even require taking a ship out of mothballs - the newly named "Selene" was fueled and ready to go just as the real Selene got home from her walk to kick her husband and her no-good nasty-ass sister down the stairs. Selene threw his guitars and her goldfish out of the third-story window - "Mother-fuckers no you did not!" - and just around the time that the goldfish were rescued by a neighbor, around the time Selene's husband and her 400-pound "I'm big-boned" sister limped to his car, the United Nations officially agreed to fund a trip to the moon in this decade and to do the other things.
Since the U.S. was essentially the United Nations wallet, it asked for and was granted the right to name and staff the mission's governing body - the World Astronomical Society Americana (WASA) - and to pick its first executive director. The best available candidate turned out to be the vice-president's brother. But by the time he and the other patronage creeps got around to opening up an office and having a meeting, the mission was up and running and would launch on Thursday.
"That's another small step for man..."
Thursday came, and the good ship "Selene" took off without a hitch. By that time every inch and metre of its trajectory, as well as its speed and the solid fuel pound-pressure per tube-cube, had already been so mapped that they'd been available online and on Wii well before the last living moon walker died in 2027.
Thanks to the Chet Krynski Fusion Drive (CKFD) - a low-tech cold fusion unit designed by a high school junior in Lakeland, Nebraska for a 4-H ribbon and a kiss from the prom queen - the ship reached the moon in just over five hours. And since everything was run by computer, the Earthnauts - Nikola from the Ukraine, Juanita from Peru, and a dog and a monkey - had literally nothing to do for the entire voyage but stare out the window and learn to pee in zero gravity.
So at Nikola's insistent and good-humored urging, they decided to have themselves a rollicking good time. Nikola had snuck plenty of vodka on board, and he and Juanita got totally plastered. They drank, and then they played drinking games and tried to out-drink each other. In the process they shut down communications to Earth on a double-dare and tried to take photographs of each other bare-assed even though Juanita and the monkey kept floating away, unsuccessfully grabbing at the air, kicking the sides of the ship, and giggling.
Because of Nikola's zero-gravity dancing, he spilled almost as much as he drank.
The "Selene" carried the bodies of two of the original moon-walkers - Alan Shepard and Harriuson Schmidt - whose last wills clearly stipulated that they should be planted on the moon for tourists to point at. Well, by the time Juanita tried to get the heroes' mummified remains to take "just one more itty-bitty little sippy" the inside of the cabin looked and smelled like the men's bathroom of a 19th Century East-end pub.
Also on board "Selene" were several dozen experiments designed by moon conspiracy theorists and some Earth rocks that Nikola wanted to scatter around the lunar landscape as a joke (like his cousin, the Secretary General of the United Nations, Nikola always enjoyed a good prank). The heaviest thing on the ship was a four-foot tall silver metallic sculpture of an insect. It had won some sort of online contest and there was no way to back out of it.
The dog and monkey went along in honor the first animals in space, which were actually fruit flies and mice (plenty of those heroes were on board too. Historians had insisted on it). Just to confuse the historians, mission control gave the German shepherd-wolf mix and the chimp wannabe the same names as the originals: Laika the Russian dog, and Gordo, the American monkey. The dog kept barking at nothing in particular for the entire trip, and when Nikola tried to stare Laika into submission the dog bit him. The monkey pointed and hooted and hollered and pulled everybody's hair, having just seen the funniest thing he'd ever seen.
Somewhere near the moon Gordo let the mice out of their cage, chased them in mid-air, and threw them at Nikola. It was a hell of a mess. But the vodka did wonders for the atmosphere in the place, and soon they arrived.
Touchdown on the surface was only witnessed by the dog. When the computer brought "Selene" gently down on the hard moondust, Laika went around nudging armpits and licking at feet. Gordo was the first to awaken, rub his eyes, and realize they'd landed. His chirping woke the others. Juanita and Nikola, sobering up just enough to correctly guess the next move, decided to turn the radio and cameras back on. They said "Hello Kingston, we have no problems" and started drinking again. But this time on air. By the time Nikola and Juanita were drunk again, and got around to getting into their spacesuits and opening their outer hatch, the dog and monkey had already jumped out of their outer hatch and had been running all over the moon for about an hour. Nikola clinched up his eyes, staggered down the ladder (almost falling twice), got to the surface, vaguely remembered that he was supposed to say something, and stuck his face right into the camera. "Yeah, alright," he drooled. "Yeah, can you hear me? I dunno. Well, that's another small step for man, another giant drink, I mean, ah jeez did I say drink, goddamn, I mean another giant leap for mankind".
In the background of this semi-historic camera shot Juanita was rolling in the dust with the dog and the monkey, laughing and tossing Gordo into the air to test the one-sixth gravity. Nikola ran up to them and in pretend-anger threw a moon rock at the dog, missing it by a lot. They played hide-and-seek, tag, skip-to-my-lou, and set up an improvized hop-scotch grid. Everyone was loving every minute of it.
"To the moon, Alice"
All of this time Kingston ground control was screaming in their ears, telling them, "Pick it up" and "Get back on schedule". Selene's computer, nicknamed Alice, would automatically blast off from the lunar surface in about four hours. Since nobody thought this mission would accomplish anything at all that the twelve Apollo astronauts hadn't done, and everyone knew that the Earth had all the moon rocks it was ever going to need, and every inch of the satellite had been photographed and chemically analysed by generations of circling orbiters and radio-controlled rovers, they weren't scheduled to be there for too long. The only reason they were anywhere near the moon in the first place was because of that crazy New York woman. So the mission's director, the U.S V.P.'s kid brother (still royally pissed that they'd set up the entire mission before he'd even put on his socks) gave them six hours and out. The crew of Selene weren't scheduled to do much at all on the moon. Yet because of all the goofing around they hadn't done anything yet, and had to play catch-up.
First, they hauled out the experiments demanded by the moon-landing deniers. Numbering in the millions, these people had elected public officials in important undeveloped nations, enjoyed the backing of all the powerful anti-Mensa societies, and even had the endorsements of some illiterate holographic-vid stars. So the earthnauts now had to waste their time on a fool's errand (although secretly both were sure man had never been to the moon).
The jolly moon-walkers, as Earth was now calling Nikola, Juanita, the dog and the monkey, started tossing plastic bags, ping-pong balls, paper aeroplanes, and plastic, metal, and slime-goo Frisbees wayyyy wayyyy up in the air and all across the landscape. The dog, chasing the Frisbees, jumping as high as 20 feet, sometimes had enough time to lick his spacesuited genitals before he'd have to go fetch.
Nikola beamed the scene back to earth via holotube. When the dog and monkey started wrestling over the Frisbees, Juanita and Nikola broke away to carefully set up the world famous "Pendulum Experiment" designed by the esteemed Professor MrN of Oxford University. In this test, which would prove that man either had been to the moon or hadn't, 300 pendulums, wind-chimes, origami swans, and assorted bobbleheads would be swung back and forth in 1/6 gravity. This entire test was being exactly replicated and conducted on Earth at the same moment, in a total vacuum with full earth gravity. The pendulums, wind-chimes, origami, and bobbleheads came in varied and interesting sizes, weights, fabrics and materials. They were strung along clotheslines firmly anchored into the ground by a WASA Pounding Machine.
When everything was set into motion by nanobot-driven swing speed technology that a kid had invented in Germany, the experiment was on! After three boring minutes of watching the things moving back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, and not slowing down at all, Nikola, suddenly too dizzy to see straight, excused himself and staggered back to the ship to take another sip of Russia's finest.
Antikythera mechanism. That's the first thought that came to Juanita's mind when she looked back over her shoulder after falling helmet over heels into a soft-mound of moon dust. This involuntary double back-flip occurred after she'd finished up the moron doubters' experiments and after that country bumpkin Nikola went back to the ship. Juanita spent the remaining two hours of the Second Conquest of the Moon exploring a few shallow craters within walking distance of the ship. Nikola, who was supposed to explore these godforsaken holes with her, was sleeping it off and dreaming of geese.
Juanita hurried her way through two craters. She just wanted to finish the check-list. The craters were same old, same old. Dust and rocks. She picked up a tiny blue rock as a gift for her mother - she'd make it into a ring - kicked dust into the air like she used to do in the barrio, and did a voluntary back-flip to win a bet with the ship's owner, her boyfriend Phil. Finally she climbed down the slope of one last crater, named Pan in honor of some wayward god of nature, forests, erotica and fertility, and stepped onto its dusty floor - "again with the dust!" she thought. Before taking three bored and slightly angry strides from the wall Juanita suddenly went helmet over ass. Disorientated, upended and dizzy after having tripped on something just under the surface, she was mad at the world. The fall would have blown her knees all to hell if she wasn't six-sheets-to-the-wind and in 1/6th gravity. Juanita jumped up like a marionette - like they do in the old moon footage - spun around to face the rock that tried to take her life, and right there in front of her, all shiny and wavy and sticking out of the dust, sat this little machine.
It was unmistakable, and it was remarkable. The gear box lay exposed, and a few very human looking dials combined with a raw indescribable quantum field full of alien doohickeys, whatchamacallits, and whatnots that were not always where they were a moment ago. In the middle of this machine, a contraption she could only imagine had been seen before by people tripping on either ayahuasca or quinoa, were "arms" (for lack of a better term) which reached into a foggy space that looked a little like one of J-Ra's vids equipped with 4-D time-tremble app. That was her first thought. But overlayed on it was her knowledge of the Antikythera mechanism.
The Antikythera mechanism is a fully modern-looking gear-driven analogue computer that was built to track the orbits of the planets. It was found off the coast of Greece in a shipwreck that was almost two thousand years old. Dated to the "first century" A.D. - and if there was one of these things still in existence then there had to be lots of them back then - it was found in 80 pieces. These 80 pieces were so mechanically perfect that they fit back together, and the resurrected gearbox looked like it could be cleaned and started up again. Now here, in the dust of the moon, was something which made the Antikythera mechanism look like an antique jack-in-the-box.
Juanita began to dig it out. It wasn't very large, and was kind of round and thin like an old-timey designer computer. She pulled it out of the loose rock, although whenever she moved her hand into the airy quantum soup to get a firmer grip the machine gave back a better grip, and she felt things pulling on her gloves while hearing soft little giggles. When someone gave her a tickle on her palm, both her skin and her glove crawled. "Mother Mary, our Lady, pray for this sinner," Juanita implored her goddess, asking for the strength to get this machine safely clear of the lunar soil and back to Earth. Suddenly, as if Mother Mary was standing by to answer her prayers like an omnipresent OnStar representative, the machine shifted, moved, and popped into her arms. In doing so the wavy field momentarily passed over her face and she saw, just for an instant, little men creating objects out of something not-quite light but more like music, sounds, and wishes, and they ran up to offer the objects to her. She stifled a scream, shifted the machine in her arms, and climbed out of the crater.
Before long Juanita was in healthy-ego-heaven. She knew that her place in the history books would no longer be alongside a drunken Ukrainian, a dog, and a stinking monkey. She would be honored as the premier explorer of the space age! She could open a chain of Amsterdam coffeehouses like she'd always wanted to do. And she'd win the Nobel Prize for sheer audacity! She'd wear that sucker around her neck and parade it in front of her cousins and her cocksure uncles. She looked up and saw, off in the distance, that intoxicated moron Nikola prancing around with the stupid monkey, both of them kicking up moondust and slapping their knees. That's when she realized that she, and she alone, had fulfilled the scientific prophecy given by the Brookings Report on the Implications that the Discovery of Alien Life will have on Human Affairs:
|“||4. "Though intelligent or semi-intelligent life conceivably exists elsewhere in our solar system, if intelligent extraterrestrial life is discovered... evidence of its existence might also be found in artifacts left on the moon or on other planets."||”|
With fifteen minutes to spare Juanita walked up to the ship. Laika saw her, jumped up, wheeeeeeee good doggie good baby! grabbed the machine from her arms with his spacesuit's mouth - fetch the Frisbee, good boy! - and ran. As Laika's spacesuit tail wagged back and forth, back and forth, back and forth in the 1/6th gravity, the damn mutt raced round a hill and was seen no more. Juanita cursed the day her saintly mother gave birth to her. She lay down on the ground then and there, beat her head with her fists, and just wanted to sleep. When she realized the dog wasn't coming back she pushed herself up and half-heartedly climbed into the spaceship.
With two minutes to go before lift off, Laika happily bounded up the stairs, a moon rock in his mouth and his tail wagging a mile a minute. Juanita didn't want to let him in. And Nikola was out cold. But Gordo opened the door, helped Laika out of his spacesuit, hung it up, and watched the dog run over to Juanita and Nikola to smell their breath. Laika then trotted over to a corner, licked his balls, and opened his mouth like dogs do when they look like they're smiling. Juanita wanted to kill him.
The "Selene" took off on schedule. The primates all stayed royally drunk during the short return trip, singing Ukrainian and Peruvian and deep jungle songs at the top of their voices. The parachutes splashed the capsule safely into the windswept Atlantic Ocean, its choppy waves swinging it back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, like a bobblehead in 1/6th gravity.
The dog was the only one awake to feel it.
Afterword to this 2138 edition
Greetings good readers, and we hope you enjoyed this official Centennial Reprint of "The Second Conquest to the Moon." Many historians claim that this UnBook "restarted the space age". Others credit Wilhelm Reich, Selene, or the U.N. ambassadors for doing that. But as you know from your history implants, the monkey got the lion's share of the credit.
Actually all of them had contributed in their own way. Yet when the human race conquered and colonized Mars and Titan, steered well away from Europa, and camped out for a month on the rings of Saturn, much of its "get up and go" attitude and fate in the technology to "get the job done" came from this volume. It was this UnBook which unveiled the hidden insider details of the voyage of the "Selene". Most of the secrets revealed in the book were obtained during a celebrated series of interviews done, in accordance to contract, while the participants were sober.
When Second Conquest came out it was an overnight sensation. Since Earth's population had been kept out of the mission's loop most people only knew that the Earthnauts had played tag, Frisbee, and threw plastic bags around. Unknown to the Earthnauts on the lunar surface, the live six-sense neuron surround-touch moon cam that Nikola was shakily operating came with a hidden 14-second delay. During most of the trip the viewing public was told there were "glaring problems" in the video feed, and could hear a stray curse from the vice president's brother, who was in-studio. The public's best guess was that one of the animals had knocked something loose up there. When the UnBook exposed the truth, and the video was finally released, WASA told everyone about the adventure and the pivotal role that the monkey played. The book easily won both the Pulitzer Prize in Investigative Journalism and the Liquor Industries' esteemed "MD 20-20" Award for Best Free Publicity .
The lives of the Earthnauts and Selene
After the ticker tape parades, in which Selene, Lars, and Gordo starred, the two human Earthnauts and the monkey went their separate ways.
Nikola somehow lived for another 25 years, liver the size of a wombat and thirsty for the taste of the potato when he awoke in the morning. He sometimes toured with a circus.
Gordo became the spokesmonkey for hundreds of products, tech corporations, and erotic websites. Gordo-owned companies blossomed under the management of Selene's new husband, and, in fact, most of the equipment used on the Mars, Saturn, and Titan missions, as well as on the inhabited colonies, was invented, produced, and sold by Gordo Industries. Sadly, Gordo - the acknowledged star of the moon mission - lived for only three years after his return. While pouring massive amounts of alcohol into two young ladies one evening Gordo played one drinking game too many, and met his maker.
Juanita never got it together, and bounced from job to job and city to city. She made most of her money selling autographs and memorabilia, and there was no lack of well-to-do collectors who didn't mind spending a night with a moon walker. Juanita achieved her personal dream when, six months after the moon mission, she opened several coffeehouses in Amsterdam. Yet when it turned out that all she wanted to serve was vodka, they failed within a week. Juanita, devastated again, was found dead of hypothermia in the backyard of a house near her favorite bar. It was a comfortable 84 degrees that night, so lots of barflies joined "that moon lady" in what they thought was an outdoor sleepover. They didn't realize that Juanita - as drunk and dehydrated as a human being had ever been in recorded history - had frozen to death right next to them.
Laika lived for another seventy-five years. He flew on the first Mars mission, was the mascot as well as one of the multi-species camper animals living on the rings of Saturn for a month, and was secretly the brains behind Gordo Industries. Laika invented most of the new tech and computer programmes used to "power" spacetrips across the solar system in less time than it used to take an old commercial airline to fly from New York to Canberra (with the routine unscheduled four-hour layover in Kingston). He invented lots of other things too.
You see, while running around on the moon after grabbing Juanita's wavy frisbee in his spacesuit's mouth, Laika eagerly stuck his head into the quantum-wave dialoguer of the (roughly-translated) "Galactic Gladiator 8" inner-connection machine to see if there were any cookies in there. The machine, which was from the Sirius star system, then caught Laika's attention because of all the stuff moving about. So unlike Juanita, Laika kept his head in there.
He barked once as he found himself in the presence of the tiny people that Juanita saw and instantly started praying to Mary to deliver her from, for maybe seven minutes. Laika did one of those dog smiley-faces and accepted all of the gifts that the tiny people made for him. Because he got smarter during this process, around the fourth minute he was directing his new friends what to make with their twirling sound-ovals and their crystalline jelly holographic units. After Laika gave them - in barks, grumbles, and the imploring sounds dogs use to tell people something but soon the dog and the tiny beings started to communicate directly - his detailed descriptions of new devices and mental capacities, the amazed little fairy-mushroom people added a few twists of their own before uploading the gifts into Laika's nervous system. All during this time they kept saying that he was a good baby, a good doggie.
In the years to come only six people knew that Laika could converse fluently in 25 Earth languages and seven Siriusian dialects, which Laika thought would be adequate. Of these six confidantes three were family friends who took turns secretly managing his affairs, patents, and transcripts. Three others - a four-time Nobel Prize winning theoretical scientist, a post-multigraphene-multiphase-based computer programmer/artist/datajourneyman, and an East Indian chef - were paid millions of dollars a month for working with Laika and for their silence.
Laika passed away 75 years after he and the crew landed in the ocean, dying unexpectedly while apparently still young, like that mouse in "The Green Mile". For there had come that inevitable day that Laika fell off the wagon. On a whim, a double-dare, sexually-based peer pressure and raw product availability, Laika had his first drink of vodka since the old days. The amount of drinking he did that day aged him overnight, and he was gone in the morning.
Yes, Selene quickly divorced her motherfucking first husband, that motherfucker Lars. She and her slut sister eventually made up, but not until Selene and her second husband, Jacques LaTree - the former French ambassador to the United Nations, honorary Commodore of WASA's Space Program, Chairman and C.E.O. of Gordo Industries, yoga adept, social activist, tantric master, and the author of the above UnBook - had Sophia, their first of four children. Sophia, a teetotaller like her parents, grew up to command the first Mars mission and was the commanding crew member of one of the teams of Earthnauts during the Saturn ring camp-over. Sophia and her parents were the three other people who knew Laika could talk and do the other things. And what Laika's group did together for the peaceful advancement of humanity, the quantum-leap tri-sentient bi-annual Higgs-driven innovations in hyper-data cognitive communication, and in the development and scope of multi-field practical and post-practical scientific inner-and-outer space explorations, you would not believe! Good baby, good doggie!