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Magical Mystery Tour: extracts from the imaginary logbook of Beth Johannsen

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Logbook Entry 568: Golden Slumbers - Carry That Weight

“You’re gonna carry that weight a long time.”

Watney’s alive.

When he was dead, I watched the Commander. Losing one of your command is a weight. Commanders are equipped to carry it, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. You could see that in the tightness around her eyes, in how she didn’t smile. She carried it.

Now she doesn’t have to. He’s alive.

“Once there was a way to get back homeward”

NASA’s going to have to find a new way now. But he’s alive. The Commander can put the weight down. She doesn’t see it that way, though.

“In the middle of the celebrations, I break down.”

Commanders don’t break down, but she looks like she’s gonna carry that weight a long time.


Logbook Entry 605: Revolution 1

“You say you got a real solution
Well, you know
We’d all love to see the plan”

Well, crap. Iris tanked. That’s not good.

What’s plan B?


Logbook Entry 623: For the Benefit of Mr. Kite

“A splendid time is guaranteed for all”

Got a personal message from Watney. He threatened me with a wedgie. And he called me a nerd. Which I think is his version of a hug. For me anyhow. Dark glasses and a leather jacket — yeah, maybe I should try that for a NASA Halloween party. Don’t think a switchblade would fly, though. Maybe a fake one. I could get one of those. Somebody could make one for me. Heck, the amount of jury-rigging Watney’s doing, I should tell him he has to make one for me when he gets back.

Interesting, the thing he said about what Lewis told the guys. Maybe that’s why Beck is so super-polite to me. Well, all the guys are, really. Okay, not Martinez, but he’s a bozo. And Vogel’s polite but he’s a German sort of polite. So I guess really just Beck.

At first I thought maybe he didn’t like me, he was so polite. But now I think it was just that Lewis put the fear of, well, Lewis into him.

Huh. I always thought I made him nervous or something.


Logbook Entry 640: I Want to Hold Your Hand

“Yeah, you got that something”

Something’s going on.

Okay. Treat it like it’s code. Debugging.

It’s something weird. Something about the way Martinez teases Beck lately. Something about Beck’s expression when he doesn’t know I can see him. And he’s just being… weird. Whatever it is, it went into high gear after he got his message from Watney. I think…

I think he wants to hold my hand.


Logbook Entry 645: Twist and Shout

“You know you twist so fine
Come on and twist a little closer, now”

I think my hypothesis is correct. About what Beck’s thinking.

Also he has nice eyes. I mean really nice.

Oh, god. This mission is already VERY COMPLICATED.


Logbook Entry 651: We Can Work It Out

“Life is very short, and there’s no time
For fussing and fighting, my friend”

We aren’t going to ask them to try to see it our way.

“While you see it your way,
there’s a chance that we might fall apart before too long”

Iris fell apart. So we’re not waiting. We’re going to get it straight, or say goodnight. I said this mission was complicated. It was. But stuff like this has a way of simplifying things.

Rich Purnell is a steely-eyed missile man. Damn right he is.

And I like Beck.

Okay, more than like.

Oh, god.


Logbook Entry 662: It’s Only Love

“Why am I so shy when I’m beside you?”

Huh. I’ve been thinking more about what Watney said about Lewis and what she told the guys. How if anyone hit on me they’d be off the mission. Which is maybe why Beck hasn’t….

Oh, crap. I’m going to have to be the one to say something, aren’t I? It’s got to be me.

Crap. Okay then.


Logbook Entry 663: Hey Jude

It’s a fool who plays it cool by making her world a little colder.

“So let it out and let it in,
Hey Jude, begin.”

Okay. I can do this.


Logbook Entry 664: The Word

“It’s so fine, it’s sunshine,
It’s the word love.”

Hypothesis confirmed.


Logbook Entry 667: Do You Want to Know a Secret

“I’ve known a secret for a week or two,
Nobody knows, just we two”

Hypothesis reconfirmed. Rather thoroughly.

Beck is a good kisser. Attention to detail, he says.


Logbook Entry 685: I’m Happy Just to Dance with You

“Just to dance with you is everything I need”

Okay, logistics. So we talked and decided that we are not going to do the deed until we’re back on Earth. It’s only five hundred and mumble-mumble days. And we’ll have it to look forward to. It makes sense. It really does.

Okay, really it’s because if it doesn’t work out well and things get dire, it could be distracting.

Like this isn’t distracting. Anyway, we’re saving that one thing. Beck’s right about the rest of the mission being hella foreplay, though.


Logbook Entry 691: I’ve Got a Feeling

“All these years I’ve been wandering around,
Wondering how come nobody told me
All that I was looking for was somebody
Who looked like you.”

Man, if Beck and I don’t stop grinning, we are so busted.


Logbook Entry 692: You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away

“Everywhere people stare,
Each and every day”

We are so busted.

Martinez is staring. I think he knows something’s up.

The Commander isn’t staring. She’s looking at me and she just raised one eyebrow very slightly and said that Beck could bunk with me.

Oh, crap. She knows.


Logbook Entry 704: Within You Without You

“And to see you’re really only very small”

Nothing like space to drive that point home. Maybe that’s why we have to do this.

Hang on, Watney. We’re coming for you.


Logbook Entry 711: Old Brown Shoe

“Baby I’m in love with you
I’m so glad you came here it won’t be the same now when I’m with you”

Aww, sweetie.


Logbook Entry 740: With a Little Help From My Friends

“I get by with a little help from my friends”

That worst-case scenario? I would have done the same for them if things were different in terms of body mass and the calculations went that way. And every last one of them knows that.

Free-range. Sheesh. Martinez is such a bozo.

Oh, hey, he finally stopped quoting that limerick about sex in zero-G, the one about “the problems of docking and then interlocking.” I think Beck said something. Actually, I think he told him we’re waiting.

Lewis probably knows already, because commanders have radar. She keeps giving me approving looks. It’s almost worse than Martinez and his jokes.


Logbook Entry 753: Norwegian Wood

“Isn’t it good?”

I told him they say that the actual words are “Isn’t it good? Knowing she would.” So now we keep saying, “Still good,” any time we pass each other.

Martinez is threatening to throw things at us.


Logbook Entry 757: Fixing a Hole

“I’m fixing a hole where the rain gets in
And stops my mind from wandering
Where it will go”

Except Watney’s not fixing a hole. He’s making new holes. They’re having him tear half the equipment out of the MAV. If there are any cracks running through the door, he’s filling them in. Actually, he’s probably taking the door off entirely.

I wonder if it stops his mind from wandering. I wonder what I’d think about if I were the one there.


Logbook Entry 759: Why Don’t We Do It in the Road?

“No one will be watching us.
Why don’t we do it in the road?”

Because we’re not going to do it on the mission.

Beck said that when we get home, maybe we should go out and find an actual road to do it in. Compared to this, no one will be watching us.


Logbook Entry 762: Hard Day’s Night

“It’s been a hard day’s night,
And I’ve been working like a dog,
It’s been a hard day’s night,
I should be sleeping like a log”

We’ve done all the prep. Tomorrow is it.

Okay, seriously, I have got to get some sleep now. Because tomorrow.


Logbook Entry: 764: One After 909

“Then I find I got the number wrong,
Should be traveling on the one after 909
I said move over honey I’m traveling on that line
I said move over once, move over twice”


Okay. Attitude thrusters. Don’t worry about the velocity. Fix the range problem first.


Logbook Entry 766: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

“We’d like to take you home with us,
We’d love to take you home.”

Beck’s back in. Activate Lighting Panel 41.

Okay, that worked. Twelve meters per second.

Come on, love. You can catch him. Come on. Come on. Come on.


Logbook Entry 767: Yellow Submarine

Watney’s aboard!

Omigod we did it. Beck caught him. It all worked.

Our friends are all aboard. And the band really does begin to play, because I put the music through the speakers. Nobody’s teasing me about my Beatles thing today. They’re all singing along.

“We all live in a yellow submarine,
Yellow submarine, yellow submarine”

It might not be a life of ease, but yeah: every one of us has all we need. I look at Beck and he’s looking at me and we can’t stop smiling.

We did it.


Logbook Entry 768: I’ve Just Seen a Face

“I’ve just seen a face
I can’t forget the time or place
Where we met”

Before he went EVA, I kissed Beck on the helmet. On the faceplate to be precise. Yes, it was stupid. I don’t care. All the time he was out there I kept a little beacon in the back of my mind for him to be steady, to be okay. Like if he was falling, I could keep calling him back again. He’s back. They’re both back. Everything worked.

Now we just have the rest of the trip to get through.


Logbook Entry 1208: It Won’t Be Long

“It won’t be long, yeah, yeah
Till I belong to you”

Beck saw me blushing again. At this point, he just asks “Which song?” I told him it was this one, and he said it’s true, it won’t be long until he belongs to me. Which made me blush more. Then Martinez came in and started singing that thing about “amorcita corazon” at us again until Beck threatened to introduce unmentionable things into his ration packs.

Martinez is right that, at this point, the variety alone might make it worth it.


Logbook Entry 1247: When I Get Home

“Come on, I’m on my way
Cause I’m gonna see my baby today
I got a whole lot of things I gotta say to her”

Yeah, it’s not quite that I’m waiting to see my baby when I get home. I see him every day. But I got a whole lot of things to tell him. Most of them non-verbal. All of which will have to wait until after we do get home. Then there’s decontamination and everything else, plus a press conference. And we don’t get to start those until we land.

We have five more days yet.

Come on, let me through, I got so many things I gotta do.


Logbook Entry 1299: The End

“And in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make.”

It’s true, and not just about what’s called love-making. It’s bigger than that, and not about sex. I’m not knocking sex. Boy, am I not knocking sex. I have been doing my best not to think about how many hours it would be until Beck and I will be alone and can find out if the equipment all works, as he put it. So. Yeah. Not knocking sex, but there are connections that get made when you serve together, when you fly off to a planet way the hell and gone out there, and you make it through and you get back. Then? You’ve made something, and you know you’ve made something. It’s a net that connects you together and you might as well call it love, smaller things have been called love, and it fills up the word and then some. We’re all family now in a way that nobody outside it can understand.

That’s what I was thinking about during the press conference. We all lived in a yellow submarine, and we made it home. And now…

Well, pretty soon now Beck and I will go do some serious research.

So anyway, I forgot to say: the day before we land, Martinez makes a joke about how if Beck and I pass our systems compatibility test, we should keep him in mind for a best man. He is such a bozo. I hug him really hard. Then I tell him that one, it’s way too early to talk about things like that, and two, Beck says Watney’s first in line for the best man spot anyhow. So Martinez says he can be matron of honor, and Watney starts trying to talk the Commander into just marrying us right then. “It’ll be another first in space!” he says, and Beck is grinning and I’m grinning, and yeah.

Bunch of bozos. Best damn Yellow Submarine in space.