Mr. Bennet bravely completes the first challenge...
"No! I don't feel like singing!"
"Aw, don't be a glummy gus," my pilot replied. "Live a little. We made it here safely. We didn't crash into a wall or anything! Let's celebrate."
"Celebrate what? I'm here, but I don't know what to do next." Outside another dropship was approaching at a very slow pace. At first, I suspected it was another contestant. But it seemed the dropship was weighed down by more than any one person could weigh. It was obviously transporting some heavy cargo.
"Fine. If you want to miss out on the fun, go ahead!" He turned back around and started drumming a rhythm on the consoles. Windshield wipers turned on, hazard lights flashed, beepy stuff beeped. And he began singing, "The arm bone's connected to the arm bone, the arm bone's connected to the arm bone, the arm bone's connected to the arm bone, the arm bone's connected to the..."
I quickly exited the dropship and looked around. There was a sign, 'Space Station Alpha'. Oh! Not taste Asian alfalfa! Space Station Alpha!
Now, I only needed to remember what I do next. Something about negotiating and lunch tubes. As a paper salesman, I'm a keen negotiator. This shouldn't be difficult.
I ran into the station, like a mad man runs into a deli, or anything really, but a deli is probably more mad run-accessible. There were several contestants, or maybe just space station staff, walking around the corridor. "Stop!" I yelled, "Hammer time!"
The people broke out into song and dance, the perfect distraction. While utter chaos ensued, I ducked into the nearest room. And as luck would have it, I found just the man I'd have to match my negotiation wits with.
"Welcome, Mr. Bennet. What can I do for you?"
"I'm here for the lunch tubes!" I said in my boldest of bold tones.
"Lunch tubes? Oh, perhaps you mean launch tubes."
"Perhaps! Where are they?"
"How about deck twenty?"
"I was hoping for something more like deck five?"
"Oh! Surely you kid!" He chuckled loudly and walked closer to me. "The best I can do is deck fifteen."
I stared pensively at him. He stared right back. Neither of us were willing to back down from the eye contact battle. I lifted my hand and stroked my chin. "Make it deck twelve and we got a deal."
"Deck twelve and a half?" He asked, getting right up in my face.
"No deal," I smugly replied.
"Blast!" He turned around and took a few steps away from me. "Fine," he said as he snapped back around to face me. "Deck twelve it is. Priceline isn't going to be happy though."
"Send them my condolences," I said. And with that, I left the room, en route for deck twelve.
The people in the corridor had moved on to Super Freak, and were strutting their stuff all over the hallway. I made my way through the madness, like my wife at a JC Penny One Day Only Sale (which they seem to have every day).
"Is this deck twelve?" I asked to a nearby custodian, or perhaps she was a witch. Either way, she had a broom.
"I don't know how old it is!" she yelled into my face. Then she hopped on her broom and drove off.
What a witch! Then, I noticed the sign on the door. It sure was nice of the station manager to label everything appropriately. 'Deck Twelve' it read.
I could see some contestants getting inside the launch tubes. I seemed to have caught up! I pushed my way through the crowd of people and headed for the tubes.
A great rumbling sound bellowed from behind me. I turned around and was immediately stampeded by a wall of a woman. The impact knocked me hard onto the floor, but I arose quickly. "Watch it, wide load!" I yelled at her. She ignored me. It was though there was a foot-long meatball sub awaiting her inside the launch pod, her attention would not waiver.
"Going back to Hacknor, are ye?" A seemingly-crazy man asked me.
"Yeah, I am." I said. I turned to continue on my way.
"In a hurry are ye?" He asked.
Gah! I turned around and said, "Yes, actually. I'm in a race," and with that I turned back around.
"Like a shortcut, would ye?"
I turned back round. Suddenly, I was dizzy, like a pregnant woman on Vicodin. "Do you know of one?"
"Like me to tell you about it, would ye?"
"Yes! Tell me!"
The man revealed the great shortcut to me. Hmm....so going straight to Hacknor isn't the fastest route...
I thanked the man and punched him in the face knocking him out.
After fighting through the crowd, I made it into my own launch tube and got inside the pod. "Let's see..." I said aloud. "Green is go?" I hit the green button and the pod blasted off.
I sure hope this shortcut is worth it!