Geoff and Gonzo stared at each other, still in disbelief. They were standing in TSOSD hangar 2, where the debris of Rocketship 1 and the empty hamstronaut capsule were stalled out for investigation. How Scruffy managed to get out of his launch suit was still a bit of a mystery. Of course all hamstronaut suits, especially the bulky ones, are equipped with internal controls to allow the hamstronaut to escape, however Scruffy hadn’t used those. There were no markings on the in- or outside of the suit that would indicate tampering.
“I’m happy that Scruffy ejected the capsule from the launchpad when he did, otherwise he would have been hamster roast…” Gonzo muttered, then continued; “But how did he get out of the damned suit and capsule without help? The doors were locked from the inside, except for the safety locks for recovery, again those had not been used. According to this log, the doors were opened from the closest console to the hamstronaut chair. This is what Scruffy could have done while in his launch suit, but then there are no further log entries or signs of opening and closing this turnip of a launch suit…”
“Hmmm,” Geoff walked over to the debris that used to be Rocketship 1’s first stage and walked around it in a large circle before inspecting more closely. “It was definitely not the early uncoupling and ejection from the launch pad by Scruffy’s capsule that caused this RUD. But why, why would he go AWOL?”
Gonzo said nothing, and started to walk slowly to the briefing room. Meanwhile TSOSD personnel had begun to work on the debris, cataloging and investigating while supported by robots for the heavy lifting.
After arriving in the briefing room, Gonzo sat down in one of the comfortable chairs around the table and drifted away into thoughts about the accident and Scruffy’s whereabouts. He didn’t notice Geoff enter a little while later after he’d instructed the investigating crew. The directors sat in silence and deep thought for a good 10 minutes until Gonzo suddenly spoke: “Well, I guess we need a new hamstronaut then…”
“Are you sure we should just get a hamstronaut? Why not recruit a bunch of them? We could use a lot more personnel for the program, maybe some back-up hamstronauts in case another one whimpers out as well…” Geoff replied.
Gerald had snuck into the room a while back and was hiding under the table, listening intently. He had recently met a few new hamster friends in the bunker, some whom might be good candidates. He climbed up the table and squeaked his idea to the directors. “Excellent plan,” Geoff replied and continued: “We’ll set up the registration procedures and training schedules. We can assess their skills during the training, and see which jobs would be suitable for each of them.”
“Sounds like a plan,” Gonzo said, “I’ll sort out the paperwork and registration forms, Geoff, could you look after the training schedules with Gerald?” “Woo, training class!” Geoff replied.
With that it was decided to open Hamstronaut registrations to all hamsters of the bunker (and perhaps a few other bunker critters.)
Does your hamster have what it takes?
Sign it up to the Hamstronaut program right here!
[ Artwork by: Engineer RAD ]