“We should have a flashback,” said Jeff spreading

his hands, “of the time he stowed away, scared,

riding in a test capsule with no one,

trapped in  a long orbit he never made.”

At which Leslie puffed on her cigarette.

“Don’t make me laugh, you hack. That’s the oldest

cliché in the book. The dark childhood mess

come back to enmesh him in its tight grasp.”

Her straight brunette bangs jittered. “Rollo stares

space in the face, unafraid. A mighty

white-suited orbit warrior, darting

into the far reaches of the unknown.”

Milton rubbed at the ache in his forehead.

“We know Rollo’s tough, but we gotta glimpse

his tender side. Maybe a space babe, a

statuesque princess from Mars with some spunk.”

“You have to be kidding,” sneered dry Leslie.

“The last thing we need is a Mars vixen,

a small-brained twit to simper at space hunks.”

“Let’s just do a jelly monster,” urged Jeff,

“like the one in ‘Moon of the Unhallowed’.

we can all get behind slimy feelers.”

There were reluctant nods. The meeting stopped

at four with notes on grappling tentacles.

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