Short Story Day 134 of 365
The man sitting across the desk from Mitch was an honest-to-goodness astronaut with 63 days and 14 hours in space, and more importantly, 17 days and two hours of experience in extravehicular activities or EVAs as NASA liked to call them.
In other words, this man was outside his spacecraft in outer space for 17 full days. Few people in the world could ever say that.
Theodore “Ted” Anniston had only been retired from NASA for ten months, so he still had connections at the Agency.
Anniston was now a consultant for the company Mitchell was developing proposals for and was giving him a few hours of his time to verify and clean up text he had cobbled together.
Still, though, Astronaut Anniston had the EVA experience that was critical to the proposal. The team would use his resume in the bid. That privilege, however, came with a hefty hourly consulting fee.
After the initial conversation with Anniston, Mitch spoke with him four more times. Anniston showed up on twice weekly 30-minute video status calls about the bid.
When Ted’s name didn’t appear on the real-time call log, people noticed.
“Is Ted on the call?” Jake the proposal manager asked.
“Unfortunately, Ted won’t be on the call today, Jake,” Farley Taylor, NASA Corporate Business Unit Manager said. “I guess when that winter storm came though this weekend, it knocked out his internet. He’s been out for two days now. He can be reached by phone though.”
Jake the proposal manager said, “Okay, then, I guess we’ll proceed.”
“Just a minute, Jake” said Farly Taylor. “I’ve gotta say this while it’s on my mind. Does anyone else find it odd that one of the men who went into outer space and went out of the craft to help fix that expensive telescope can’t get steady internet service here on earth? Yeah, it was the storm and all, but anyone else find that unusual?”
Jake said, “Well, there are a couple of billionaires now trying to change that with their satellite links. But fascinating point, nonetheless.”