The Maretian

by Kris Overstreet

Chapter 269: Sol 518

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FIREBALL: Hermes, MAV, standing by for press event. Over.

BETH JOHANSSEN: MAV, Hermes. Hello, Fireball. What are you eating?

FIREBALL: It was a potato. With bits of quartz stuffed in. Thought it might taste better. It didn’t. Let’s go. Over.

JOHANSSEN: Okay. First question: “How are you getting along with your crewmates?”

FIREBALL: All right. Not fried, cooked, eaten any yet.

DRAGONFLY: I taste better slow-roasted!

FIREBALL: Though there’s STILL TIME! Rrgh. Bug aside, we’re okay. Looking forward to going home and being by myself, though.

JOHANSSEN: Next question: “What was the most inconvenient thing about spending so much time in such close proximity with others?”

FIREBALL: Being everybody’s cuddle mattress. It gets chilly in the ship at night, even with life support. Everybody piles on me for body heat, ‘cause dragons are hot. Not fun being on bottom. Nobody likes couple hundred kilos on top of them when they try to sleep. But better than freezing, so I don’t complain.

JOHANSSEN: “Dragons are big and powerful. Are you using that to help get off the planet?”

FIREBALL: Dragons are strong. But right now dragon claws- and dragon thumbs- more important. I use wrenches and move things easier than ponies and bug. Do so well, we more than half done with MAV mods. Then, I inspect suits, help Dragonfly make ready for launch. I do my job.

JOHANSSEN: You’re well ahead of schedule. That’s great. Next question: “I heard that dragons collect hoard. Is it true for you? And what's the thing of your hoard that you missed the most if you do?”

FIREBALL: I have hoard. A small one. Dragonlord back home is watching it. But nothing there as good as what I bring back from this trip. Some things you can’t count in bits of gold or jewels.

JOHANSSEN: Aww- er, okay. Next: “Can you tell us your most memorable space experience except this one of course?”

FIREBALL: Oh, YES. My very first flight. Flew straight into mountain. Spent month in full body cast eating through a straw. Flying into mountain VERY memorable.

JOHANSSEN: You crashed a rocket and lived? And you went back up? That’s amazing!

FIREBALL: Yeah. Amazing. I can’t believe I was that dumb. Coin flip chance I crash on each launch. This time when I get home, they can find some other dragon to put in a can!

JOHANSSEN: Er… um… moving on. “We know you want to try driving a car. Do you have any ideas as to what kind of cars you'd like to try?”

FIREBALL: Not a cop car. They crash too easy. I think I want to try a car that doesn’t have a trailer. Also, one that doesn’t jump broken bridges. I fly with my own wings only from now on.

JOHANSSEN: “What changes would you make to your spacesuit design to make them better prepared for the vigors of frequent and extended planetary EVA?”

FIREBALL: They work pretty good. Yeah, we patch them-

DRAGONFLY: What do you mean we? I don’t see you throwing up for science!

FIREBALL: Did it become tomorrow when I not look? Get! Pushy bug. What I say… yeah. We patch them a lot to get this far, but they plenty tough to last like this. Never meant to go so long. But bathroom thing still needs work.

JOHANSSEN: Agreed. Next: “Do gemstones have flavour to a dragon? Can you describe them in terms of equivalent taste to other foodstuffs?”

FIREBALL: Hard to say. More color is usually sweeter. Darker is spicier. Clear is blah. Eat diamonds like eat ice, except not cold, not wet. So, not much like ice at all. Really hard to say.

JOHANSSEN: “Would you become a gem expert?”

FIREBALL: Why? Life too short to spend it as store clerk. –OH, wait. I forget, gems worth lots of money on Earth. No, no need for Earth-like gem expert at home. Which is where I’m going.

JOHANSSEN: Last question: “Would you be interested in a movie career? Hollywood would love to put dragons in films without expensive special effects.”

FIREBALL: No. Nose too big for films. But I’d like to see some fake dragons in films sometime. I could use a laugh. We done now?

JOHANSSEN: That’s all, Fireball. Dragonfly’s interview is tomorrow, the last one.

FIREBALL: Good. Stay tuned. Bug don’t know it, but payback is coming.

DRAGONFLY: Fireball, I’m still right over here.

FIREBALL: Payback coming anyway! MAV out.

Author's Notes:

Sorry this isn't more, but I've been space-out sleepy most of the day. Lingering congestion probably prevented me from sleeping well last night.

Next Chapter: Sol 519 Estimated time remaining: 3 Hours, 5 Minutes
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