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NASA Loses Track Of Moon

Cha CAPE CANAVERAL FL– Monday, December 13, 1999
Exclusive to Radio Free WYHTL

Capping off what must be the worst run of luck for any known set of human beings, NASA reported late last weekend that an explosion near one of the Agency's secret space projects has caused the moon to depart Earth orbit forever.

This catastrophe follows the loss of several deep space probes, including two Mars explorers, and the 1997 Jupiter II disaster. In what promises to be the final nail in NASA's funding coffin, the moon's loss represents the first time in history that a government agency has misplaced an entire planetary body.

"An explosion of what may be swamp gas has occured near a secret base– I mean, near those water deposits on the moon," said Pino Gepetto, a NASA spokesperson at Cape Canaveral, to a room of reporters who just stared at him. After an uncomfortable silence, he backpedaled: "Or maybe it was that stockpile of superweapons. Sorry. Further information isn't available here."

Wringing the shameful truth out of him with their bare hands, Gepetto revealed to reporters the startling details: Throughout the 1970's, 80's and 90's all those secret rocket and shuttle missions have been supplying and building a base on the lunar surface, along with stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction. One of the these stockpiles was so massive, it simply exploded over the weekend, propelling the moon out of the system's ecliptic. So secret was this base, it has the entirely bland name of "Alpha".

Upon hearing the news, Yankee Publishing, producers of The Old Farmer's Almanac immediately issued a recall of all copies of their Y2K edition, intending to replace all lunations with the word, "NONE".

"Now you've done it this time," fumed Dr. Oliver Hardy of NASA's Odd Propulsion Laboratory at his communication screen. He seemed to be speaking to a human-shaped shadow on the moon, somewhere in the vicinity of the accidental blast. From some angles, the shadow seems to be wearing a derby.

Cheese!Communication with the moon has been spotty since the blast. The commander of Alpha base, introduced to reporters as Cmdr. John Koenig [pictured left, with dying co-worker] seemed more confused than contrite, as though the impossible had just happened, and happened to him personally.

"We're moving at quite a clip," the lunar commander sighed, while changing into a leisure suit. "We may hit lightspeed, maybe faster." When asked how that was physically possible, he simply shrugged and moved his mouth helplessly. Reporters commented that his mouth never quite closed at any time.

Werewolves everywhere expressed their tearful thanks. In a written statement delivered on Earth, Drusilla, a vampire residing in Sunnydale, CA, revealed that she was in fact the base commander's daughter. "I applaud my father's noble sacrifice for this cure to lycanthropy," read the brief statement. "And leaving the mouth hanging open runs in the family. It made me what I am today, and I have no regrets." She was unavailable this morning for comment.

Back on Alpha, the base physician Dr. Helena Russell discussed the apocalyptic situation for the press. "It's all very strange," she said with decisive vagueness. "It's like the last chapter of that Asimov novel I read as a kid, The Gods Themselves. The rebel moon people wanted to secede from Earth by blasting the moon into space. Only I guess we've gone and –––ed ourselves for real, haven't we."

The last transmission before the moon lost contact this morning seemed to be Dr. Russell muttering something about all this being a bad dream.

Geomagnetic experts predict that the loss of the moon will throw off the tidal balance on Earth for the next 2.5 million years, during which catastrophic flooding will occur on a daily basis.

NASA scientists are holding out hope that Moonbase Alpha will be able to signal Mission Control again, or at least send back footage of the lost Dr. Who episodes.  

Revised for reposting at yamara.com 2000.02.17; minor corrections to html 2000.08.22
All text Copyright ©1999 Manui & Adams. World rights reserved.