Submitted to the thumbleweed story competition at Xi'an's 'Og:
Xi’an sat impatiently while the pilot double-checked his harness. He understood the need for safety, but he was eager to begin his first trip into space. His mission was to debug the quantum computer aboard the International Space Station, and to reset it in the unlikely event that it went mad and tried to kill the crew. He anticipated that he would have plenty of time on his hands to work on the ninth edition of his treatise on solutions to multi-dimensional Sudoku.
Finally the pilot, Lottie Yeager, gave him the “thumbs up” sign and began preparations for takeoff. Seated on the opposite side of the capsule was the only other passenger, Yevgeny Chekhov, a gifted young evolutionary biologist. It would also be Yevgeny’s first spaceflight. He had been nominated by his research group to conduct experiments wit