tsosd

“T.S.O.S.D. Administration office, this is Gonzo speaking.” I put away the research paper I was reading, one of many on a pile that seemed to become larger every second…

“Sir, there has been an -uhmm- minor inconvenience at the hangar,” a nervous voice said on the other side of the line. “What happened?” I inquired. “It’s the hamsters, sir. They…, it… *beeep*” with that the connection terminated. I got up and made my way to the converted missile silo now functioning as a hangar for the Rocketship 1 among other research projects like giant catapults, models of a space elevator, high altitude balloons and preliminary designs for orbital platforms.

I got to the hangar and found myself in front of a locked door, the wires of the access terminal had been chewed through. A bunch of hamsters ran past my feet into an air vent. I decided to follow them to get into the hangar.

After crawling through the tight space of the air vent I arrived to a weird scene of hamsters preparing the Rocketship 1 for launch, with most of the human crew incapacitated, a few Robots seemed to take orders from the hamsters now… Let me be clear on this; Rocketship 1 is just a mock up so if the hamsters want to go to space, they’ll have more luck with the catapults or balloons…

I heard some squeaks over the intercom and saw a bunch of hamsters sitting in the control room, apparently giving orders to the rest. I decided to sneak to the control room, and stop whatever they were trying to do.

I made it to the control room without any incident. The hamsters seemed to busy with their work, I must admit I was impressed of their effort, how futile it might be.

Inside the control room there was a hamster sitting with a weird small helmet on, with wires going into the machinery.
“I am George, King of the hamsters,” appeared on the console screen. “Give us access to space,” was the next message.

I was confused, first of all: Who in the name of Steel would create a hamster-thought translation helmet, without considering the dangers. Second: Why?
“Do you understand me?” I asked.
“Yes.”

“Okay then, what is your purpose with this whole operation? You should know that Rocketship 1 doesn’t even have a rocket engine yet, it’s just a mock-up so the hangar doesn’t look empty.”

“Really?”
“Yes.”
“Oh…”

The hamster looked disappointed, I petted King George of the hamsters to console him a bit.
“Could we come to a compromise?” appeared on the screen after a long pause.
“Maybe, what would you like to suggest?”
“Access to space, once a rocket is built.”
“Just once a rocket is built? You could take part in the testing process before that…”

The hamster seemed excited with my last remark, maybe he shouldn’t be because testing can mean a lot of things…

After some nose twitching and me offering him a treat, the hamster agreed. Hamster king George squeaked a few times in the intercom microphone, and the hamsters began retreating back to wherever they hide. “Bye” said George. And he took off the helmet and scurried after the rest.

I ordered the bots to clear up the mess the hamsters left, and after repairing the main entrance console I went back to the pile of paperwork waiting at my desk.

* this story first appeared on tsgonzo.com