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Nunkies in Space Rosemary Beard Copyright 1997

You just received word its your turn on rotation for an extended stay aboard the space station Mir. You've heard rumors that the Russians have replaced their crew with a single cosmonaut. Anxiously you practice your Russian, not wanting to embarass yourself or your country. You are a little worried about a 6 month stay alone with only one other person, but you decide that since you signed up for this program, you must follow through on your commitment.

On board the space shuttle you are given a last minute briefing on procedure and a pep talk by your fellow crew members. Finally the time arrives for docking and you get your first look at the person who will be your roommate for the next 6 months. You can't tell much about him through the space suit he is wearing, but he greets you politely in Russian and welcomes you aboard the space station.

Due to a minor fuel leak and time restrictions, the shuttle must seperate and leave earlier than planned. You find yourself all alone with the Russian astronaut. Once inside the living quarters you begin removing the bulky space suit and stowing away your gear. Sensing someone nearby, you turn around and find yourself looking up into a pair of blue eyes that take your breath away. Nunkies is floating weightless above you, smiling.

Gently he pulls you into his arms and says,

"I haven't welcomed you properly yet. We must get to know each other VERY well, after all we will be sharing living quarters for the next 6 months."

Smiling you tell him that you are willing to do whatever is necessary to further peace between your two countries.

END