Go West, Young Man

The controller looked up from his computer screen as the booster neared the end of the track. As the explosive bolts fired and the stubby-winged shuttle lifted into the air, he adjusted his throat-mic and spoke; "Shuttle away, she's all yours, Orbital." Another day, another ounce, he thought as he turned back to his computer game and recommenced battling aliens for control of Aplha Centauri. As the bored controller blasted tentacled critters into random bits and bytes, the LEO shuttle Yellow Rose lifted toward orbit on a pillar of smoke and fire.

Jack Griffin looked up from his novel when he felt the Yellow Rose clamp against the transfer 'lock of the Low Earth Orbit Station Galileo. The captain's voice came over the 'com and asked the passengers to unbuckle their harnesses and disembark throught the foreward hatch. With a chuckle he added, "and thank you for riding the 'Devil's Roller Coaster'!"

Griffin, not caring much for lines and crowds, waited until all of the other passengers had left before exiting the hatch himself. Passing by the stewardess, he snapped his fingers as if he had just remembered something, and turned back towards her. "Why do they call it the 'Devil's Roller Coaster'?", he asked.

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Captain Jack Griffin of Mars pushed the "Execute" button on his flight computer, then leaned back and smiled.

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