The Legendary Moment
Longspur grasped futilely as his c7 camera phone drifted away from his hands. Selfie denied. Next to him the mouser he just released watched him quizzically, trying to process what this writhing strange figure was doing. It began to float away, its lungs adjusting. In a few hours it'd drop, like Longspur's phone was beginning to drop, into the heat and pressure and radiation of Juno. It would grow wings within twenty-four hours and begin the search for its prey, the feral carbon zeppelins of Juno's middle atmosphere, pests who fed on the gas miners. It took thirty years to engineer the mousers, thirty minutes to release them into Juno's atmosphere, and thirty seconds for Longspur to lose his phone. He tilted away from the creature and floated back, letting the wind drift him back before he turned on the actuators in his suit. The phone had in-built rockets, or was supposed to, but then the c7's were hardly reliable. He tried to call up the phone on his wrist comm, but got nothing. Oh, he'd never live this down. Behind him, Finch and Hatch caught the winds and made their way back to the sky station. The mousers around them plunged into the clouds.