Dr. Vlasic held his head in his hands, sobbing. Dr. Juneau half-heartedly put her hand on his shoulder. While the others rolled their eyes or looked away.
“There, there, it’ll be alright,” said Juneau, uninterestedly.
The news had come over the T.I.M. M. (or Tiny Instant Message Machine,) a few minutes ago, that Dr. Vlasic’s wife had left him.
TIMM was designed to take regular instant messages and shrink them down to a microscopic size to fit into the dimensions of the inner space vessel. How ever, due to Einstein’s theory of relativity, in direct defiance of Newton’s third law, the messages got sped up faster than the speed of light and in reality, his wife had yet to leave him.
Therefore, Dr. Vlasic’s theatrics culminated in him wanting to abort the whole mission, return the vessel to regular size and try to stop his wife from leaving him before she actually did it.
This was the third time Dr. Vlasic’s wife had sent a message like this and each time, he proposed the same plan and each time, 20 minutes later, he would receive a new message on the TIMM saying that she had reconsidered.
Because of the vagaries of time-space continuum, up in the unshrunken world, she had actually never even gone through with it, deciding and reconsidering in this alternate timeline minutes before deciding to send the first message in the regular timeline.
Captain Algiers pushed himself into the forward conference room, through the magnetic doors and slapped Vlasic clear across the face, as he was a career military man and had no time for these eggheads and their new age, touchy feely way of dealing with every little problem. “Remember why you’re here, you fruit: The mission. Always the mission!”
“Hey, while he’s at it, he should also remember the first two times she pulled this shit!” Chipped in Simmons, the tiny ethnic janitor, before being silenced by the Captain.
“Look, we all need to calm down!” It was up to Dr. Juneau, once again, to be the voice of reason. “The Captain is right, Vlasic, you need to remember that she’s done this twice before and each time it worked itself out.”
Vlasic made a move to protest but was silenced by a look from the Captain.
“Vlasic, our mission is everything. More than the Captain could possibly fathom, more than even the rest of you know.” Dr. Eric Filipkowski, a striking, handsome man, stood in the corner, speaking for the first time of the entire trip. All eyes were on him.
“It’s true. You all thought we were getting shrunk down and injected into the test subject’s buttocks simply to study and hopefully find a microscopic cure for hemorrhoids. You were so eager to sign up, be the first, beat the Russkies! that you never stopped to ask yourself if it made any sense to fund a a 3 trillion dollar project that took 25 years to develop simply to cure something that can be prevented by leaving your goddam iPhone in your pocket and not taking a dump for half an hour while you tried to solve the next level of Candy Crush!”
The other doctors looked around, still not getting it.
“But curing hemorrhoids is important!” said Dr. Juneau, passionately.
“You only think that because you’ve got them! And bad!” Dr. Filipkowski, the cool, rogue scientist, said, “in fact you all do!”
The doctors sheepishly avoided eye contact with each other.
“We played you for fools!” he went on, “we knew that nobody would ever volunteer for a mission as dangerous as this unless you all had some serious stakes in it.”
“So then what is our real mission?” Vlasic asked.
“To trick a bunch of science dorks into thinking they had actually been shrunken down to microscopic size to explore some guy’s hemorrhoids in a spaceship, meanwhile, filming the whole thing for a reality TV show where we make you look stupid by sending fake messages about your wives leaving you and stuff so everybody would get tense and do things like get in fights and belittle the janitor because you think you’re better than him.”
Vlasic looked up at him in confusion. “So why are you telling us this now?”
“Because we’re cancelled.” said Eric Filipkowski, kicks reality TV producer.