Red With Envy
“CUT!!!” a voice called out from a few meters away screamed angrily, “GODDAMNIT!!! CUT!!”
Andrews looked over to see a portly gentleman in khakis who was surrounded by a small group of film crewmen around him. The faces were looked in looks ranging from fear to anger.
The portly man stormed over to Andrews as Andrews struggled to right himself.
“WHAT IN HELL WHERE YOU DOING!!!”
Andrews opened his visor and said sheepishly, “Improv.”
The portly gentleman’s eyes bulged out, “STICK TO THE DAMN SCRIPT!”
The portly man crossed his arms in disgust, ‘WE PAY YOU TO ACT, NOT IMPROV.”
A wiry man ran up to the portly man’s side, “Mr. Andrews…”
The portly man spun around and looked at him, “WHAT!?”
“We have received word that they are broadcasting the entry and landing scene.”
The portly man rubbed his hand through over his face and through his balding head. “This means your fuck up, is putting us close to being in a major bind.” He spun around and stared Andrews in the eyes. Andrews looked down, unable to meet Andrews stare any longer.
Andrews spun back at the skinny man. “Call the Director; tell him to push back the EVA.”
“I DON’T KNOW!” he fumed, “TELL THEM THEY’RE NASA AND TO THINK OF SOMETHING.”
The skinny man blanched and ran off pulling out his cell phone punching in numbers as fast as he could. Andrews spun around.
“AND YOU, ONE MORE STUNT LIKE THAT, AND YOU WILL REGRET IT!”
Andrews huffed and continued to berate him, “WE ARE PAYING A SHITLOAD OF MONEY TO GET THIS RIGHT AND NO ACTOR IS GOING TO MESS IT UP!”
Andrews looked agitated, “Why?”
Andrews shrugged, “I mean, all of this equipment looks like it really could make it to Mars. NASA spent a lot of time going over how every system would work. Instead of spending the money here, why not do the real thing?”
Andrews looked angry for a second, “To be first.”
“Let me explain this quickly and simply so even your mind can process it. NASA has an actual mission launching in a few months. If the powers that be hadn’t heard that the Dutch were going to launch a system that would get to Mars before us, you wouldn’t be
here. To keep up appearances they launched an unmanned experimental capsule to mimic you idiots”
“What’s the big deal?”
Andrews sighed in resignation, “Because the United States could not be beaten to another planet by some little piss ant country like the Netherlands.”
“Oh.” Andrews continued, “Well if I don’t say something right as I touch down, what is my motivation?”
Andrews’ face got redder. He took a deep breath before continuing,” your motivation?”
Andrews nodded, “Yeah, like Armstrong.”
“Your motivation is to get through this scene and on to the next one and the one after that.”
Andrews pointed at the Lander, “your motivation is to then get back into the Lander and do it over again until the script calls for you to return. Your motivation is to play your part until you ‘land’ and we can fake a burn up on reentry so no one is the wiser, so history will record that we had the first people on Mars.”
Andrews continued, “Then your motivation is to get plastic surgery and enough money to live the rest of your miserable life in the luxury of a king.”
Andrews narrowed his eyes, “or, YOUR MOTIVATION WILL BE THE SHARK BAIT YOU WILL BECOME IF YOU SCREW THIS UP AND IT COMES APART!!!”
Andrews nodded his head vigorously and snapped his visor closed.
“I am motivated now.”
Andrews shook his head as Andrews walked back toward the Lander.
Andrews heard Andrews over his speaker, “Get back in the Lander we will start from the moment that you exited the airlock.” He watched as Andrews slowly climbed back up the stairs and then he turned to walk back to his chair.
“Actors.” He muttered under his breath as he sat down. The skinny assistant walked over, “NASA is going to tell the public that a transmitter went down on the Lander and that the EVA was postponed until it was working again.”
Andrews smiled and nodded his head, “Tell them understood and that we will be on schedule and script for the rest of the mission. Burn up on re-entry in about 7 months.”
The assistant nodded, but before he could say anything a second assistant spoke up, “There is a delay in shooting since Andrews noticed a crack on his visor from his fall.”
Andrews looked over at the Lander and then at the first assistant, “On second thought, tell NASA that we are changing it a bit. I am going for a more dramatic ending. I plan on the astronauts being exposed to a cabin decompression by a freak meteor strike on the way back.”
He smiled to himself imagining the life being sucked out of Andrews slowly.
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.