Niel walks across the strewn field of boulders and sand. The warehouse is empty but him and a few props. The smell of the desert fills the room with a tinge of smoke.
“Hello, they trucked in all of Los Alamos. This is just crazy. I understand why Buzz is upset about it. We should have tried it in real life. I hate the promise the next one will be real.” Nielsen pushes a rock with his foot. His belief in the system a recent casualty. The American public seen them lift off days ago. Few saw them splash back down an hour later.
He waits as the curtain draws open. The lander prone on the Lunar surface. It’s stairs deployed. Thin cables hang down from the winches high above. The rest of the actors are in denial. But they are backstage waiting to swallow their pride.
A thin man in a black suit approaches Nielsen and hands him the space suit.
“Okay, let’s hear your lines Niel.” The man lights a cigarette.
“One small step for a man. One giant leap for mankind.” Nielsen drones on “Oh yeah. Houston, the Eagle has landed. Then the small step thing.”
“You need to put your heart in to it! We’re selling America here! The military already landed there. We can do it, but you don’t want to be another lunar corpse or a God Damn Hero!” The man explains on clear English.
“Buzz locked himself in the dressing room, sir!” A sickly private comes running to the man.
“Okay, we shoot the walking sequence first! Niel, you need to talk sense into him! Get dressed and climb in. We roll in sixty.” The man walks to a set of stairs connected to a boom loaded with cameras.
Inside the lander a sweaty Niel waits for the cue. His cables are hooked up. He’ll descend and then bounce to raise a flag. History made for TV.
“Okay, Niel open the hatch. Pause and descend slowly. Don’t look across the surface. Wait til right before you jump off.” The man voice fades.
A hatch opens. A single man emerges to crawl down a ladder. The pauses are prefect.
“One small step for man! One giant leap for mankind!” Niel says heroically and jumps to another world below.
Written as part of a challenge,