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Fourth Year Mars


Breaking News 

Destination Mars

Breaking news....Just in moments ago from CNN.…NASA has stated that they will seek the assistance of the Nationally acclaimed VWF Task Force in the upcoming exploration of the planet Mars.
NASA has had their eyes on this group for a long time. Under the recommendation of our president NASA intends to pool resources in a joint effort for not only the future of the space program perhaps the survival of planet earth as well. Details surrounding this mission are sketchy .
When CNN contacted VWF spokes person to confirm this report …… there was no comment.!
As the world nervously watches the group gathers to make preparations to meet the unknown challenges .
Once again we call on our knowledgable resident inventor of the transporter/time machine who is busily making modifications and doing last minute checks….and is prepared to fire up "DA2004" aka "Flash"

Bev have you heard? Jo asks….."NASA, Mars? I can't believe it Bev….I, I just can't …..Bev interupts with "for goodness sakes, what are you talking about Jo? Calm down, and tell me….we are going to Mars squeals Jo…and you have to promise me one thing…you will NOT under any circumstances touch any buttons….none! Yeah right…pick on the "Polish Girl" I'm serious Bev, This is big…really big. Bigger than anything we have ever done and the world is watching us as we make history! Jo…you got to be kidding.!! I'm not, Read this!! says, Jo as she hands Bev the newspaper and watches the color drain from her face, her eyes flutter and roll back as she collapses in a faint to the floor! Moments pass as we await the arrival of our group and begin our last minutes checks before entering the transporter. The time has come and it is countdown T-minus 10 seconds. Jo asks Donna to say a prayer for our safety and a successful mission. Goodness knows should we in someway fail that the tabloids would have a hay day. Due to a mal function of the guidance system we thought it best to reschedule our departure for the following morning. This would also allow Bev more time to get all her ducks lined up in a row and pack a few more necessities. Gee, I hope it all will fit in the TRANSPORTER. PJ was just about ready to slap Bev silly when Donna gives Bev a pill to calm her down and advises her to take a deep breath!.....and then says GOOD NIGHT. The next morning the task team begins to arrive two hours before our predetermined departure time to go through security. Bev and PJ stand there like BIG BROTHER (sisters), checking off their lists, to make sure all goes well, nothing is forgotten or overlooked.
Bev writes:
Here they come PJ but the guys don't look too excited about this whole adventure. Yea Bev… your right…pretty sad I'd say! Well, ya know PJ.. if we get lost the guys will have to ask for directions…and God knows how men hate to ask for directions! But if we don't, we will end up on Venus or Jupiter so they better learn how to ask real quick! Knowing Gus he probably has a GPS tracking system in his pocket anyway! Hope they all have remembered to bring their space suites. Hey these.. JUST MY SIZE.. space suits aren't too bad at all…and the color even matches my earrings! But why the heck are my shoes different colors? Darn Pam.. she's been in my closet again switching shoes! Hey PJ? I also brought plenty of snacks for everyone! Just a few things like Moon Pies, Mars and Milky Way bars, Star Crunch bars, Orbit Gum and Cosmic Brownies and many are even sugarless! But most importantly I have plenty of SPEC 150 SUN TAN LOTION. I hear those Mars sunburns can be pretty bad..or maybe I should say crispy? But.. just in case.. I brought some Solarcain along so we're all set. Oh, one more thing...ABSOLUTELY NO STAR KIST TUNA okay? Do you think we have enough POWER in the TRANSPORTER to get us all the way to Mars? But you know what PJ….we can always take along some "BUSH BEANS" to give us the extra fuel we might need. Oh boy here comes Jo…I can feel another lecture coming on about NOT pushing any pretty buttons! NAG, NAG, NAG, Geeesh…ye of little faith! I have DUCK TAPE to wrap my fingers in so there will be no blaming Bev this time! I'll show Ms. Jo!! Okay PJ do you think we've covered everything? I can see now this is going to be one very long trip and if one of them asks " ARE WE THERE YET?" I'll break their face! Maybe it would be wise for us to DELEGATE some on *board responsibilities* to keep evryone busy and hopefully out of trouble. Hey, did we leave yet? Hardly feels like we are moving but I know I heard the countdown! We're somewhere and nothing looks at all familiar. Do you think we are already there?


"No Bev, we're not ready to blast off yet...........they're just testing the engines or whatever the heck they call them!
OK, EVERYBODY..............GATHER ROUND AND LISTEN UP!!!!!!!!!!! (Since I have the most Marines in my family, except for Irene and she's still fastening her space boots, I get to be the D.I. here!!!!!!! hehehe) As you all know, these space suits have forty-leven zippers and pockets and flaps, so as I told my children before a long trip..........If you have to go potty, do it NOW!!!!!! There will be no rest stops between here and Mars and you're gonna be darned uncomfortable if you don't take care of business now!!!!!!!!
Cell phones will interfere with the equipment and will not be allowed on board. (much moaning, screaming, crying, "oh no!!!!" from those who are hopelessly addicted!!!!!!) Danny is passing among you now and collecting all those infernal things. We're going to be much too busy for chats with your homies! "
"PAM!!!!!! Get out of the goodie bag!! Those snacks are our emergency rations!!"
"Kat, put the padlock on the goodie bag and put it out of Pam's reach! And YOU stay out of it too!!!"
"Don is checking the weather conditions on Mars; Gus is making sure all the computer chips are in place; Wendell is double-checking all the space suits to see that they're properly sealed; Danny and Bill are heading for the pilot seats; Coach is making sure all seat belts are fastened. You all WILL stay in your seats until we've passed "the outer limits", and Ladies, you'll notice that the men all have seats facing away from us. That was my decision, not NASAs. Do you know what zero gravity does to your facial structure, not to mention your hairdo:?????????? Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwww!! We sure don't want the guys looking at us in that condition!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
"Debbie, Donna, Ruby, Carole.......quit clowning around! You can't float around the cabin until we actually leave earth's gravity. Duh!!!"
Bev...........step away from the control panel!!!!!!! Nice and easy.......keep your hands over your head!!!!!!!! Good girl!!!! Ok, everybody ready??????????? Danny and Bill............take it away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


OMG! we are finally moving! Bev will you break out that goodie stash. I know you are hiding those homemade Mars Cookies in your Just My size Space suit in one of your 55 pockets?
BTW I brought my new MP3-player with all kinds of new tunes to listen to. How about I play "Space Monkey" I can't believe my my eyes is that Danny doing the Space Monkey in mid air? Can't keep a good man down that's for sure. Ok and special requests? I have Space-Balls, Space Dolls, Moon-Walk, Pillow-Talk oops that's a different planet. OMG who got into the Bush beans quick turn on the exhaust ports now if the bad music doesn't kill us the Bush beans will........
DEB . . . . . .

"Girls? Really, Bill, haven't you figured out that we passsed 'girls' a long time ago? Deb laughed! " Besides, the fuel ws calculated and we have plenty. Especially as e are using a new propulsion field based on the sun's gravitational pull which will actually make more as we near our destination. In other words, getting there is no problem, it's the trip back which could get dicy if we don't remember to leave the bloody things charging while we are doing our jobs."

Sarge announced "Got the nav calibrated to track for Mars, and will cut it in as soon as we clear the earth's gravitational field. Then we slingshot around the moon - hey did you by any chance bring any Pink Floyd in that music? Seems like Dark Side of the Moon might be appropriate for that part of the trip." He grinned.

Danny piped up: "I did, was afraid someone would bring some of that goat roping garbage with them, so. . . "

"Mo Goat Roping - but I brought some of the good stuff from the big band era." Interjected Dick.

At that point all conversation was interrupted by the noise and pressure of blastoff. When the roar subsided upon leaving the atmosphere the computer's ourput speakers came to life with "Fly Me to the Moon" and everyone started laughing!

Then we noticed that Coach is busily tapping something into the keypad at his station, and grinned as he informed us; " Well, it seems that the Mars Rover has stopped obeying the commands from NASA due to a jamming signal from some other source. The techs believe that it does NOT originate from earth and we have to find the problem, change the frequency manually on the rover, and then locate the interferance source and make contact. Interesting. "

"Yeah, but we could be getting a bit of trouble from the solar storms, so I'll have to see if I can get any information on that. They are not a part of my normal weather network."


Well folks, everything seems to be Ok now, so we are going on cruise control and auto pilot, it's movie time, NASA doesn't know I brought a few beers wine coolers, pop corn, chips and other goodies along for the long ride. I also have some DVD's of Nightmare on Elm Sreet, Chuckie and a few others to kick back and enjoy, Traffic should be light and the ride smooth even though it is up side down.

Everything went real well for the next few hours but all good thing must come to an end. eveything was going along smoothly and then all of a sudden we started hearing loud bangs on the outside of the cabin and we knew that couldn't be good, especially at 50,000 MPH. Danny and Bill went back to the cabin to take control while everyone else went to their flight stations to access damage. Eveything appeared to be OK so Don and Gus decided to go for a space walk to see what they could find.

After being outside for a while Gus and Don called back and reported they had found some metorite dents on the outside of the shuttle but that everything appeared to be Ok. Everything seemed to be going OK and then someone asked where Gus and Don were, and that they hadn't made it back in the craft yet. Everyone went to the windows and there they were trying to open the door to the cargo bay and much to everyone's shock the lock was broken and we couldn't figure out how to open it. Itlooked like Gus and Don were in for a LONG rough ride.

Donna's Part

Finally Bev got the cargo door opened and she got Gus and Don back in the craft. They were tired and exhausted not saying how hungry they were . Well come to find out Pam and PJ had ate most of Don's and Gus's goodie bags they brought along for the long ride to Mars . Dick, Jo, Bev, and I started to share some of our food with them . Finally we all settled in for a long night when all of a sudden we heard another crash outside the craft . We looked out our left side cabin and to our surprise there was a metorite hanging on the window . It was PJs and Pams turn to go out for a long walk around the left side of the craft and remove this ton of a metorite before it tore into the side of our craft . Bev let them out the door and closed the cargo hatch . At that precise moment we saw another metorite latch on to the right side window . This time we send Don and Gus out to walk on the right side so the girls could get their job done and then the camera quit on us . Oh no Bev , we can't see any of them out there now . How are we going to help them now ?

Pam...."PJ, grab the Reverse Gravity Polarizer", Pam says as they step out into space. "Hey look PJ, you can see Earth! Isn't it beautiful? Like a big blue marble glowing in the sky. " PJ, harumphs and klunks her way to the spot below the window where the meteorite is lodged. After checking to see that the skin on the ship was still in one piece, she and Pam place the RGP in place, attach a few wires to the skin of the spacecraft and set the dials to go on in 5-4-3-....both PJ and Pam attach their umbilical cords to the appropriate latches and pops the meteorite! "PIECE OF CAKE!" Says PJ, as they pull themselves back on to the deck of the spaceship, unlatch the RGP and klunk back to the cargo door. They get there just as Gus and Don get the door opened. They all go in together. As Pam takes off her helmet she turns to ask..."Bev, do you have any green eye shadow to counter this redish reflection on my face? I just don't like the color red glowing all over me like that, it will make me look tan rather that that ghastly red! ...but I have to admit this Yellow Just My Size Space suit is really nice. Holds everything in the right place!" Kat walks around the corner, "Glad you are back Brats! Just in time to get into your space pockets and tie down, we're about to land pretty close to the mark, roughly 12ks from where Rover put down. Now get in you two! Everyone else is set." Danny is at the controls, Bill is looking worried and asks Gus" when will we touch down?" Gus grumbles the time and askes "Don, What type weather are we going to be expecting when we land ? Don taps a dial, slides a toggle switch and says, Highs in the upper 800's with an Easterly breeze blowing at 32 mph." With that Jo pops her head out of her space pocket and says, " I'll expect y'all to have this ship prepped and ready to leave before we ever get a foot on the planets surface." With that there is a quiet thump as Danny gently sets the big ship down. A cloud of red dust flys up past the windows and everyone sighs a sigh of relief. Debby is first to jump out of the space pocket and start getting the exploration gear down and prepared for use. Then Don says, Dick, where..........................

Bob and Jo

did you put those anti magnetic wrenches? they are. Don grabs Bob and they Load up the needed tools into the mini-navigator and head towards the Rover's location. In a matter of minutes a message is sent from Don to Flash informing Coach who tells us that the reprograming of the Rover has been completed. On their return to the transporter, they tell us that the odd signal that NASA reported earlier that was jamming the rover seemed to be coming from coordinants that indicated an earth orbit.....yet not coming from earth! This was very puzzling information since our Rand McNally road atlas supplied to us by Bev just 5 years ago listed no such place. Bob says he thinks this must be investigated further. We all agree and prepare to leave Mars having made the repairs needed to the Rover and getting the necessary clearances from check out this phenomenum. As our pilots get us off the surface of Mars we feel a strangeness coming over us.....but a good strangeness, almost like coming home as we find ourselves in what appears to be familiar surroundings but can not possibly be. This is quite incredible! We have made a huge discovery almost by accident. Jo, don't you think we better let NASA know? Jo says.........

"ARE YOU KIDDING, Why would I want to do that, I am enjoying this" as she floats out of her seat and towards the
ceiling. As others begin to be over come by this same feeling (some floating and some still in seats depending on if they are buckled in) GUS shouts "it is ATMOSPHERIC POISIONING, we all need to get into our one size all fits zoot suits
that goes toot toot, I think"
With that the lights then go out and the inside of the ship is lit by the erie glow of
instrumentation lights and a LOUD HISSING is heard. Slowly BOB , BEV and Danny manage to get everyone into their seats and zoot suits and pump pure oxygen into them they all begin to come around but have HUMDINGER of headaches.

Don gets the lights back on but discovers that their regular Oxygen supply is down to 40% so they have a choice to make
wear the suits or head back home to replenish the O2 at the international space station then investigate the PHENOMINOM
again when air is back to normal.

But as Gus and Danny are getting ready to program the coordinates for the space station into the computer THE UNTHINKABLE HAPPENS..............................................................................


Zero gravity is gone…………………..and everyone aboard is tossed
severely….resulting in numerous injuries….none severe.
Gus and Danny can't find the controls to program in the
coordinates…..PJ and Pam try to use the "Reverse Gravity
to see if that will bring back zero G's………………….No go!!!
Don and
Bev are listless and not feeling well at all… we can't
depend on
them for much of anything.

Donna is the only one who retains her composure and "saves our
bacon". She gets out the bible she smuggled on the space vehicle
and tells everyone to "SHUT UP" while I lift a prayer
for our
safe and immediate rescue!!!!"

Only moments later…….we're all floating again…….and a
cursory check
of the controls indicates our oxygen supply in it's proper
amount…..and the hissing leaks are suddenly GONE!

Danny pipes up that now he remembers……..When the space vehicle
manufactured, by Don, he installed "GO BACK" in all of the on board
computers….and that is why we have been returned to our previous
state. Donna is voluminously thanked for keeping her wits about her
when the rest of us were in states of shock….disbelief….and
given up hope. Donna's mind had recalled the GO-BACK program
after taking Bible in hand!

The coordinates are programmed back in by Gus and Danny as they set
them for home….instead of to the international space station.

The "CAP-COM" at NASA….has been in contact all the
while…and urges us
to make as quick a return as possible. He then informs us that
although we had "kicked up some dust" on the surface of
rover had been sending signals since we left there…that there
WAS "WATER ON MARS…………..right NOW"! Our
ship….with all of us in
it….had impacted the surface….adding to removal of Martian
where the rover had been digging. NASA said there were at this
moment huge geysers of water……H20, just as formulated on
these geysers were popping up all over the planet. The deluge had
engulfed the twin explorer to the rover…which had landed on the
other side of the planet. CAP-COM said the Jet propulsion
Laboratory expected this "artesian well" phenomena to cover
entire surface of Mars very quickly! We were very fortunate to
have left when we did.
We made no mention to Cap-Com about our sudden loss of
the loss of zero gravity………….as if we could keep that a
secret…..NASA knew all about our problem and that it had been

We were now enroute home……..but we were unaware more excitement
danger was soon to swing us around into a whirlpool of unknown
proportions……………When we felt the first tugs of movement
taking us
off course Pam SCREAMED………………………………..


What the heck is the matter with you Pamela?? Bev, you wouldn't believe what I just saw? Yea.. I would Pam.. this is a story anything is possible! Bev…I had to go use the ladies room and I saw Gus…Bev says.. and your point is? "Gus really isn't Gus!" Now Pam.. you need to get more rest.. that is Gus if I ever saw him. Pam, who is shaking like a leaf gasping for air yells, "his face is sliding off, it looks like he's melting!!" SAY WHAT???? Bev and Jo run to check this out…sure enough… it's not our Gus. Evidently the pull of earth's gravity is causing his mask to start falling away from his face. Jo hog ties this guy to the floor and asks…"if you wish to live to see tomorrow sir you best tell me right now who you are??? She rips off the rest of his mask and it's BOB!!! ROBERT! JO yells, "What the heck are you doing here your supposed to be home keeping an eye on Andre? Well, you've been telling me to get the heck out of YOUR kitchen so this is my new line of work now that I'm retired. Great!... now instead of being gone for 6 months to a year you'll be gone for YEARS at a time! Umm.. on second thought Bob.. I think this is a great idea! I'm so proud of you! Now, time to get back to business...oh by the way Dick...I knew all along there was WATER on Mars but wanted to surprise everyone. How do I know this...I HAD MUD ON MY FEET WHEN I WOKE UP! Oh well I'll let NASA take the credit for that I guess! Okay It's almost 1400 hours...we have to be home in time for supper by six! Oh what's wrong? Good grief I can't believe my eyes!!!!............

It's already 4:30 and we have been messing around instead of trying to get home. Danny tells everyone to strap in and get ready for the ride. The computers and engines all appear to be working correctly and Danny kicks in hyperspeed but nothing happens, he tries again and all they get is smoke rings from the hyperdrive engines. Hey Gus and Don, can you take a sledge hammer back to the engine compartment and take a shot at the engines, if we don't get a move on the girls will have our heads.
A short time later everyone hears a loud bang from the engine compartment, then another then a third and there is a rumble of the hyperdrive igniting. Gus and Don get back to their seats just as the engines come to life and the ride is on. 50,000 MPH, 60,000 MPH and climbing, suddenly Danny yells "OH sh.," the fuel lines broke," he powers down the engines and tells everyone that we will have to glide the rest of the way home. The girls of course blame the guys for the problems and promice to make us wash dishes since we screwed up.

PJ says, "You're only saying that, Little Bro, because you know all our food is in plastic tubes and disposable containers, so quit trying to make us feel sorry for you!!!! The worst that we can do to you is tie your space boots together when you're not lookin'!!!!!!!"
PJ is verrrrrrrrrry sleepy, all that space walkin', ya know? But she's watching everyone out of half-closed eyelids, and is getting concerned about Bev.
Bev is looking around rapidly, twitching, getting alternately red in the face and pale as a ghost. PJ nudges Jo and Donna, then catches Pam's eye and nods toward Bev. In a whisper, she says, " Ladies, I think we'd better have Debbie strap Bev in a little tighter. You know we all tracked in space dust when we returned from our "strolls", and I can see a cleaning frenzy takin' hold of Bev. She's fighting it, but she can't hold out for long!!!!! If she gets loose, we're ALL in big trouble!!!!!!! Heaven knows what she'll cause THIS time!!!! Anyone got a tranquilizer on them????" Jo and Donna simultaneously say, "Oh no, she wouldn't do that again. It's just the speed that's making her nervous." The rest of us give them THAT look, that means "Get real!" The guys are oblivious to the danger we could be facing if Bev loses control, and are talking and laughing among themselves while they steer the ship and mess with the dials!
Unfortunately, the women doze off...............all but one!!!..........and are awakened when Pam yells.........

Pam's part.....
"PJ, did you get the directional data entry sequences set for our final entry into Earths atmosphere? " Pam asks her side kick....
"Wha'???" said PJ with a sad sort of lonely look in her eyes...."Oh, yeah, it's all set!" Bill is passing out peanuts and bottles of coke...Bob is making sure the hyperthrust engines are up and on line...Jo looks around happy that everyone is content...then she notices that Bev is missing...but there is a plant of unknown species sitting happily in her chair. Jo's eyes bulge and her lips form a perfect O!
BEVERLY! Comes the bone rattling, SSgt. voice from Jo's frail little body..... "FRONT AND CENTER!!!! RIGHT NOW, sugar!" Bev peeps from around the side of the control panel...endust in hand.... like a deer caught in a set of headlamps! "WHAT IS THAT IN YOUR HAND? AND, WHERE WERE YOU USING IT???" Bev's lips form the first few words but only air comes out...there is a problem...Danny looks up and says, "seems our coordinates aren't set where we are supposed to land! We seem to be spiraling down WAY WAY from Cape Canaveral. Let me check the roadmap here." "Oh tea cups and sugar cookies! We're headin' for Ohio! Well, that is a whole lot closer to home than Florida!" says Danny with a grin. As Pam looks at PJ's face she sees that sneaky 'GOTCHA' smile spread across her we spiral for the last time before touching down...PJ say, " I missed Kat and thought...well, you know...." With that there is a solid, very loud KAPLUNK! PJ smiles and says, " WE'RE HERE!!!" When we open the door there stands a mean looking Kat with her arms crossed..."What the Heck are you doing woman? You've landed that bloody huge craft right on my beautifully painted bathroom!!!!" With a big pout Kat says,"Now I'll be offline for another six weeks moving things around!....DANNY get yourself right back here! You landed that thing you get to help put my place back together!....Gus and Don come out with Bud's in their hands, when they see Kat's scowl they back up into the space craft where it's safe! Most of VWF come out to look at the remains of Kat's beautifully painted violet bathroom..."er, Sorry we messed up the blinds Kat"...says Bob with that happy sailors smile. Today I'm officially out of the Navy and retired.. I'll help you rebuild, and Jo is great with a hammer too! In less than 8 hours we have her home back to normal and she's made us all a cup of good fresh coffee. As we all sit on her patio in the back yard and watch the stars start to peep out as the sky darkens. Kat sighs and says......"I wonder where we'll be off to next year?"..........
With that Don pushes the DA2004 button and we all are whisked back into our own homes to think and dream about next years birthday story and where it will take us........



2004 page by Jo