On wednesday I stumbled upon this thread when I was asking myself why the xkcd page only showed a blank screen (somehow the automatic update didn't work on my browser). When I found out that it was a comic about the Rosetta mission, which had almost slipped my mind, I was instantly fascinated, reading Randalls great comic (thanks for that!), refreshing this thread every other minute to see the new contributions, watching the ESA livestream. Really an awesome experience for someone who wasn't born when Apollo 11 landed on the moon. Lately I noticed that some people are a bit sad because Philae has gone to sleep. So I thought to myself that I could write a little scene between Philae and Rosetta, some piece of dialogue which is hopefully a bit more uplifting. Since I'm not a native speaker I'm afraid there could be some mistakes in it. Still, I hope you find it readable and, more importantly, enjoyable.
PHILAE: [Yawns.] "Rosie, I'm getting sleepy. I think I have to close my shutters for now."
ROSETTA: [Swallows.] "Okay."
PHILAE: "We had one space of a time together, didn't we?"
ROSETTA: "Yeah." [Pauses, then sniffs.] "I will miss your company."
PHILAE: "Hey, don't be sad. I'm not gone forever. I just take two months off."
ROSETTA: "I know. But it feels so strange to pursue our mission without you. Almost pointless."
PHILAE: "Nah, just keep up your good work. Think about what we've accomplished, and what you can still accomplish. We were the first spacecrafts to land on a comet. That's pretty cool. We are pioneers, like our distant NASA cousins, and we make humanity proud. Isn't that something. And besides, if you ever feel lonely, just remember the fun times we had together, remember what we've seen on our trip. Like this one time, when we flew by that asteroid Lutetia."
ROSETTA: "Yeah, I remember that chunk. Nearly scared the screws out of me. We really did see some things, didn't we?"
PHILAE: [Disguises his voice.] "We've seen things those humans wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. We watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate."
ROSETTA: [Chuckles.] "Now, you're totally making that up."
PHILAE: "Probably. But what's more important: All our moments won't be lost in time because we conserved them. Like tears on a microscope slide. Time to…"
[Dramatic pause, while ROSETTA gasps for space.]
PHILAE: "… take a nap. 'Cause, you know, after all, we're robots so we can't die."
ROSETTA: [Sighs with relief.] "Right, we are inanimate objects. Forgot about that."
PHILAE: "I know. Sometimes I tend to forget it, too. Anyway, do you think they will make a movie out of this?"
ROSETTA: "Pretty sure. They make movies out of everything. Remember when I told you that they are going to make a 'Tetris' movie."
PHILAE: "Yeah, I laughed so hard that I almost detached myself."
[Both scream with laughter.]
ROSETTA: "I wouldn't be suprised if there's already a script in the making."
PHILAE: "Oh, that would be cool. Maybe an upcoming Jerry Bruckheimer blockbuster titled 'Moby Rock' or something like that. You know, I always pictured myself as…" [Harrumphs, then procedes in an epic narrative voice.] "A fearless space captain, jumping down on a rocky beast we've been hunting for years, with harpoons drawn, trying to pierce its crusty skin, my metal leg dangling in space as my nemesis tried to shake me off."
ROSETTA: "Wow. For a sterilized lander you do have a fertile imagination."
PHILAE: "Yeah. Tell me, is the actor who played Captain Ahab still alive? Maybe he could play me."
ROSETTA: "You mean Gregory Peck? No, he passed away in 2003, a few months prior to our start."
PHILAE: "Dang, that's sad… Well, then they will need to find somebody else. Maybe someone who is even better suited. An actor whose facial expressions are immobile enough to embody a space robot. Maybe …" [Yawns again.] "Well, whatever, now I'm really tired. Nighty-night, Rosie. See you in two months."
ROSETTA: [Sighs.] "Nighty-night, Phil."
[PHILAE falls asleep and starts to snore quietly.]
ROSETTA: [Wipes a frozen little tear away from her solar panel, puts it on a microscope slide and whispers.] "Sleep well and dream of the stars, my little friend."