Author : Beck Dacus

“Sorry,” Merida said, “but why did we let him come aboard with a gun?” She looked warily at Jonathan’s holstered pistol, his hand guarding it from her and preparing to draw it.

“You do know why he’s here, right?” Vennix asked her. “Right?”

“Yeah. To show him the world’s not flat. One of the last Flat Earth theorists, right?”

“Yes. He is. So think about it. We’re willingly taking him into orbit to show him this. Don’t you think he would think that we were trapping–”

“I know, but this is a space shuttle, for God’s sake! We can’t possibly–”

“Is this lady tellin’ me to get off?” Jonathan asked. “Because I can if I can’t carry–”

“It’s fine,” Vennix told Merida, telling her to shut up with his eyes. “We’re taking off as soon as your men are finished with their… inspection.”

“What. The hell. Are you talking about?” Merida asked.

“He’s having his men check the rocket to make sure the windows are actually windows, and not screens. What did you expect?”

“’What did you expect?’” Jonathan interjected. “What else was this dumb freak gonna do, right? I’m making sure that you’re not tricking me! What’s so hard to understand about that?”

“Because we’ve done experiments for thousands of years! Because we’ve verified this over and over again! Because you can see the horizon, moron! We’re letting you have too much power in all this!”

“MERIDA!” Vennix said. “We’re trying to show him that with this trip! Remember?” He pulled her up the ladder, to the pilots’ seats. “This is the last known Flat Earth theorist on Earth. We’re bringing down an immense amount of ignorance, superstition, and bigotry right now! Do not ruin this. He won’t shoot us if we don’t provoke him, which we obviously won’t. Understand?”

It wasn’t really a question. “Yes, commander.”

The rocket swiftly made its way to orbit, as they all did now. It was this affordability that inspired this crusade to remove all doubt about Earth’s shape. Because it didn’t cost millions of dollars to launch five people into space anymore, they could manage to remove this man’s twisted ideology.

“There it is,” Vennix said. “You saw it unfold, right from launch. You saw it turn from the launch pad to the entire, spherical planet.”

“And that,” Jonathan said, “was incredible.” His eyes were glued to the window, his face contorted with deep thought. “I just– everything, put into perspective like that… my God.”

“Do you acknowledge Earth’s curvature?” Merida pressed.

He looked back at them. “I… can I have my moment?”

“No!” she said. “We brought you up here for one thing, and I’m not going to let you evade the matter to spare your pride! Do you accept, or do we need to send you outside to have a look for yourself?” Her face had turned red.

Jonathan sighed. “Fine. All right?” He put his right hand on his heart, and said, “The Earth, my planet, is round.” He sighed. “Now all my friends are gonna disown me. Call me flaky.”

Merida sidetracked. “Why do you care? You’ve seen Earth from up here. Didn’t you just say that was amazing? Focus on that.”

Silently, he turned away, and took her advice. Merida turned to Vennix, who was smiling.

Now everyone knew.

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