Mothers were anxiously encouraging their children to use the restroom before suiting up. Stevie, a four-year-old toddler, had just put on his suit and was sitting with a nervous look on his face. His mother had insisted that he go to the restroom before suiting up but the visit to the restroom had done nothing to stimulate his flow.
That was the job of the space suit. It was like going out to play in the snow over the centuries. Get children suited up complete with idiot mittens and boots, step them into the cold and they would have to pee every time. Now, as they waited to board the shuttle it was happening again.
“Oh Stevie, we’re out of time. They’re going to be boarding the shuttle now. Can’t you wait until we’re out of orbit?”
“I really have to potty, Mama.” He began to cry.
“Yes Stevie, but we’re out of time. If the shuttle leaves while we’re at the restroom we won’t get to go to Moon Disney. You’re wearing your Moon Disney pull-ups. You’ll be alright.”
Pull-ups were invented back in the twentieth century and had been improved upon over the next three centuries. The linings were much more effective. They would absorb feces away from the wearer’s skin as well as urine. Better yet, they came in sizes to fit all males and females from infant to adult. The whole family was wearing them for this trip.
Stevie was trying to be a big boy he was but losing the emotional battle with the thought of filling his new Moon Disney pull-ups with urine. He began to cry and his nose dripped. When he rubbed the back of his mittened hand across his nose his father could take it no more.
Rex checked the time on the monitor and then looked to the check-in counter to see that arriving passengers were still checking in. He picked Stevie up and sprinted to the restroom. Thankfully, the restroom was very clean but Rex hoped to get his son through this ordeal without wasting time for unsuiting him.
He stood Stevie in front of the low mounted urinal and slipped the suit off of his shoulders. He pushed the suit down from his waist low enough that the boy could take care of business but he held the bulk of the suit off of the floor for him. The problem was that infant-sized penises don’t quite reach beyond the thickness of a space suit.
Luckily, the little fellow was bold enough to protest this in spite of his father’s waning patience. Rex pushed the suit to the boy’s knees and the job was done without further incident. Then Rex quickly slipped Stevie’s arms back into the suit, hiked it onto his shoulders and fastened the front closure.
Again, Rex picked up little Stevie and sprinted back to the boarding area just in time to find passengers starting to board. His wife, Emily, had their seven-year-old daughter, April, suited up complete with a helmet. She secured on her own helmet. Then she took Stevie from his father and secured his gear as well while Rex did the same for himself.
Last, the family members all strapped on Velcro-soled sandals that would adhere to the shuttle carpet when the craft broke free of the planet’s gravity. Little rip-rip sounds could be heard as passengers boarded the shuttle. However, the carpet of the boarding area and boarding ramp was designed not to adhere to the sandals to the point of impeding gravitational walking.
Finding their seats on the shuttle craft, Rex quickly made the ergonomic adjustments required to properly fit the seats to each of the children. The parents settled the two children in between them and secured everyone’s lap belt. When all of the passengers were boarded the shuttle attendant spoke into the PA system.
“We would like to thank everyone for joining us on the Moon Disney shuttle. Please follow the safety review on the seat back screen or bulkhead screen in front of you. There will be a short question and answer quiz after the video that must be successfully passed by all adults on the shuttle.”
The attendant went on before the video started. “As much as we appreciate your patronization, we regret that any adult who cannot pass the quiz will be required to disembark the shuttle. A full and unconditional fare refund will be given to the individual and all party members who disembark with him or her. Luggage can then be claimed in the baggage area of the shuttle terminal.”
Emily and Rex had thoroughly reviewed the video provided with the purchase of their fare several weeks ago. In addition, there were video screens available for review in the boarding area. All passengers passed their quiz without issue.
Space travel was far advanced since the Apollo astronauts had to rocket out of the Earth’s gravity to go the moon and then splash into the ocean on their return trip. Even the shuttles that were later used for transferring astronauts between the Earth and space stations were to space travel what the ancient sailing ships were to the magnetic powered wave skimmers used for ocean travel now.
The shuttle taxied onto the launch-way. The former US Navy had introduced magnetic launching of aircraft from their warships in the early 21st century. Now, in the 24th century, the technology had been perfected to the level that it could launch a 500 passenger shuttle from the Earth’s gravity without heavy solid-fueled rocket engines.
Launched with the intense energy of the magnetic technology, the craft then comes about in the highly elliptical orbit and goes into a hyperbolic trajectory. That trajectory frees the shuttle of the Earth’s gravity in less than one-half of an orbit of the planet.
In 1969 the tiny Apollo 11 space craft took 3 days and 3 hours to travel from the Earth to the moon. Warp drive was only science fiction in the days of the Apollo space program. Now it was reality. Once clear of the Earth’s atmosphere the shuttle was switched over to warp drive and the trip could be made in less than three hours.
Typically, however, passenger shuttles took about four to five hours to travel to the moon. The reason for this is because, with loss of gravity, the bodily fluids disperse equally throughout the body. The kidneys sense this and begin sending the urge to purge signal to the brain after about two hours of weightlessness.
It could be quite a problem for space shuttling families with young children. If everyone on board had less than one hour to satisfy their bodily needs before landing at their destination, the chances are that there would be some frustrated parents and toilet accidents. Therefore the travel time was purposely extended to between four and five hours. In addition, space travel shuttles had a ratio of one toilet per six passengers to accommodate the inevitable two hour urge to purge.
The shuttle attendant keyed up the PA system. “The captain is about to the turn off the IN ORBIT sign and you will be free to remove your travel suit and move about the cabin as required for the restroom and moderate stretching. Please be certain to wear your Velcro-soled sandals snuggly buckled and make every attempt to keep your feet at or near the floor in order to avoid kicking other passengers when moving about. In addition, handrails have been extended from the overhead to assist you in your non-gravitational mobility about the shuttle cabin.”
“You will also be free to use the toilet facilities when the IN ORBIT sign is turned off. Please use extra caution in the toilet to strictly adhere to the restroom procedures detailed in the boarding video. Failure to do so will result in a very crappy experience while using the anti-gravity toilet.”
Not surprising, Stevie was the first in the family to feel the urge. Rex stripped the two of them out of their shuttle suits. Next he put a Velcro-backed vest on Stevie and a Velcro-fronted vest himself. He found the vests listed in the catalog section of a travel magazine.
The vest allowed Rex to secure Stevie to his chest rather than have him struggling on his own and, thus, possibly injuring or annoying other passengers. They made their way to one of the family-sized toilets with Rex stepping out slowly across the carpet and the Velcro-soled sandals adhering along the way. With the two vests he had his hands free to also steady himself by the overhead handrails. Dangling from Rex’s chest, Stevie was giggling as if he was already on one of the rides at Moon Disney.
The toilet was impeccably clean. Rex was thankful for that. He had walked into an anti-gravity toilet one time while space traveling in his college years that was nasty. It made the distasteful earth practice of sometimes peeing on the toilet seat look pretty insignificant. Upon opening the door, Rex had spotted the mess floating about and immediately closed the door before anything got into the main cabin.
The two units in the family toilet were identical with exception that one was an adult-sized unit and the other was child-sized unit. Stevie thought that he only had to pee but Rex insisted that he take the sitting position just in case the browns started knocking at the back door while the garden was being watered. Rex dropped his son’s pants, ripped him from the Velcro vest and pushed his Velcro soles to the carpet while he checked the seat adjustment.
Satisfied, Rex sat Stevie on the toilet and checked the monitor on the bulkhead beside the toilet for proper seat adjustment and alignment. Stevie’s little pink bung showed dead center in the small seat opening and the seal was tight around his bottom. Rex twisted the lap hooks into place and stuck Stevie’s Velcro slippers to the toilet foot rests.
Stevie’s little genitals rested over the front side of the toilet. For urination there is an oval-shaped funnel on the end of hose for females and round-shaped funnel for males on the end of another hose. As there is vacuum drawn to pull urine into the hose men and boys must be certain to get close enough to catch the flow into the funnel but not so close as to allow the funnel to seal around their… well… you know.
The funnel for women and girls is designed to seal around the genital area. The funnel has perforations along the top edge to allow just enough leakage so the urine is drawn down the tube but the genital area is not injured.
Rex held the funnel for Stevie and threw the handle to start the vacuum before Stevie started to flow. There was a strong steady sucking sound as Stevie relieved himself without event. He really didn’t need to be sitting on the throne as he only peed. However, being that he was secured on the toilet Rex asked him wait for a moment where he was while he took care of his own business.
Being the seasoned space traveler that he was, Rex was certain that he could take care of business standing like a real man. Meanwhile, unnoticed to Rex, Stevie became impatient. The four-year-old twisted off his lap hooks and stood to pull up his pants. Unaccustomed to a non-gravity environment he stood too quickly, lost his balance and fell into his father’s backside.
Rex was just drawing the funnel to himself when Stevie pushed into him from behind. This put Rex off balance and too close to the sucking funnel. He let out a terrified scream as funnel firmly attached to his person and gave him a new and previously unfathomable meaning to the usually vulgar phrase, getting sucked off.
Frightened, in turn, by his father’s reaction Stevie began to also scream at the top of his lungs. One of the safety features of the shuttle toilets is a sound sensor. If the decibel level ever exceeds a normal conversational level then that shuttle attendants are alerted. A woman’s voice came over the restroom PA system.
“Is everything okay?”
At first Rex couldn’t stop screaming. Then he realized that this voice could help. He stammered trying to respond.
“I… I’m… uh… I can’t…”
“Sir, did you get too close to the urination funnel?”
“Yeeessssss!,” Rex yowled in helpless fear.
“Sir, turn the red collar on hose below the funnel to the CLOSE position.”
Rex twisted the collar and the funnel fell away. The restroom was quiet as Stevie calmed down too.
“Sir, are you alright now?”
“I’m not… I’m not sure yet.”
Rex couldn’t get himself to look down. The voice called out again from the PA and Rex put his hand to his crotch. Everything was intact.
“Sir, do you need to someone to help you?”
“No. No, I’m fine now. Thank very much!”
With the pain subsided and satisfied that he was still intact; Rex pulled up his pants and then put Stevie back in order and calmed him. He stuck Stevie back onto his chest and headed back their seats.
Once settled, Emily asked if everything was okay.
“Oh yeah, everything came out just fine.”
Emily’s curls bounced with the involuntary bob of her head that always happened when she was amused. Her dark eyes twinkled and her mouth showed a slight but knowing smile.
“Liar!” Emily broke into a big grin.
“The PA must have malfunctioned. EVERYBODY heard.”
Rex looked across the aisle to see smiles fade from faces that quickly turned away from him. He looked at his wife as he shrunk into the seat.
“Now, THAT really sucks!”