Wanting the Moon

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     YOU REMEMBER watching the Moon Landing with utter fascination. At 17 years old, since you could read fluently by 7, you had read every space opera the science fiction book of the month club sent you! You saw a “2001, Space Odyssey” 10 times! But now, the impossible was unfolding. That night as you watched, as Richard C. Hoagland of JPL  explained all of the details to Walter Cronkite on TV, you made up your mind. America landed a spaceship on the Moon, and picked some rocks to bring home!  Something told you there was more than rocks up there, so you came up with a plan.
After joining the Air Force, you were accepted into NASA, to work with the Astronauts on the Space Shuttle missions. NASA was not going back to the Moon and you weren’t real disappointed not to have been selected to just hang around in low earth orbit. This was not your purpose. When the entire Shuttle fleet was mothballed, and with nothing to replace it, you started drinking. Utter and complete depression ensued. Your wife and kids abandoned you. It seemed everyone had abandoned you. You wanted to die.
Until.
A friend of yours called. He said he met a guy who had built a rocket from his own wealth, and needed a courageous Astronaut with your experience. Upon meeting you, he designated you to be the first commercial astronaut to land his rocket on the Moon. So here you were, unbelievably counting down to your lifelong dream!
The liftoff and launch were perfect. You felt intoxicated flying through space like you had always dreamed! But wait, what’s this unplanned message on the emergency frequency? Ice formed in your spine. The doctors had found an anomaly in your blood unrecognized at first. On second look, it was a mutant virus; no symptoms; sudden death. You have a little less than one day to live.
Unless.
Return to Earth immediately, for the antidote which is ready for you. You are about 22 hours from the Moon at your current velocity and trajectory.
No Way.
You cut the radio and continue. You know what you have to do.
Perfect safe landing. Your spacesuit is working well. You have one hour to live. Leaving the capsule, you see the junk scattered around the landing site you insisted on in planning. Nestled back in your lander, you fiddle with the controller of the very ancient Space Station Moon in your hands, which is exactly as you remember it. And as you leave your body, the spaceship, and the Moon behind; you face the threshold of your future, as the Infinite Universe beckons you forth into forever.