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flash fiction story by Hugh Cook

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        "No emotion, no emotion! If you're going to die in space we need emotion! We don't want a robot dying out there, we want a living breathing human being!"
        So Tom failed his NASA audition, despite (otherwise) having all the right stuff.
        "You can get the job," said Sarah, who wanted Tom to catch up with his alimony payments. "Let me help."
        At the next audition, when the scripted crisis arose, before scrambling into his spacesuit Tom dipped into the little hidden grease pot and smeared his forehead. Trapped by lanolin, the vapors from his skin beaded into sweat. Feeling the sweat, Tom started to get a bit (genuinely) panicky.
        He had made the team.
        But when he died for real, the last survivor on the ship lost beyond Mars, he died coldly, clinically, stoically, refusing to soap opera his own death as he was supposed to. Theatrically, his death was a failure, suggesting more the robot than the man.
        And that, kids, is why NASA went robot, though you wouldn't know it from tonight's made-for-TV movie, "Tom's Lost Love," in which Tom succeeds in getting reunited with the space mermaid only to die from a defective filter, drowned (in effect) by his own sentimental tears.

the end

very short story about death in space flash fiction alien sf flash fiction death in outer space SF story dying in outer space death outerspace astronaut dies sci-fi flash sifi - short flash fiction story by Hugh Cook

The Voorsoorian Brain Virus

        When the Voorsoorian Brain Virus got loose, the first place it hit was Washington.

"Ryan." There was a note of warning in Maple's voice, so Ryan switched off the dzela.

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This flash fiction story
first posted online
2003 June 12 Thursday
Copyright © 2003 Hugh Cook
all rights reserved.