Monday, 1 February 2016


“How many photos did you take of the interior of the ship with your helmet camera?”
“OK, and how many photos are there in oodles?”
“I believe it’s only slightly less than a shitload.”
“OK, well I took a shitload, so between us we should have it covered. I’ll take some photos of the outside of the spacecraft before heading back to the Albatross. Dick would be very upset if we didn’t.”
“What could possibly make you think I would give a rat’s ass about Dick’s happiness levels?”
“He’ll leave us in peace while he is studying them.”
“Good point! In that case I will help you.”
“That’s jolly decent of you,” Nick said.
I was damned sure Nick did not think it was jolly decent of me when he found out that my idea of helping him was to pose for each photo like a hillbilly posing all over his F350 Ford or Chevy pickup back on Earth, the only difference being that I was wearing a space suit and leaning, or lounging against a crashed alien spacecraft on Mars. In one photo, I was lounging provocatively against the bow of the ship with my pistol raised in the air.

He was still abusing me as we walked up the ramp into the cargo hold of the Albatross. After we exited the airlock inside the ship, I unclipped and removed my helmet and continued down the corridor into the main living areas. Nick, who was divesting himself of his suit, asked after me,

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