”The Space Administration needed its Space Shuttle flown, they had to come to two old codgers like us!” crowed Einstein as the prepared to blast off. “I know,” replied Twain, jabbing at the controls. “I was there too, for all of it! Now we’re flying to outer space, to blow part of it up. The only other member of this crew is a terrified Chinese physicist,” he added wryly, for he, too, loved exposition. There was a huge roar and they blasted off into space. The G-forces made funny patterns on their faces, but also made it impossible for them to laugh. Then they were in space.
“I’m going to go back and see what Wei Ning wants for lunch,” said Twain, who had appointed himself the spaceship’s cook. Putting on his chef’s hat, he pushed the button that opened the door to the back. Instead of working, though, the button melted into a leering face. “Death awaits you!” the button leered as the viewscreen began to display wailing, vaporous shapes. “Woooooooooooh!” they went.
“Get NASA on the line- this spaceship is haunted!” barked Twain. Einstein came over and examined the supernatural button. “Looks haunted, all right. Pensacola, we have a problem! That’s what I’m going to say to them, right now.”
“Spaceship, we have a corresponding problem also,” crackled the voice from the speakers. “We can’t get a ghostbuster up there in time. You’re going to have to deal with the ghosts yourself. Find out what’s pissing them off.” Another, older voice came on- a voice full of wisdom and power. “Look into your heart, Twain & Einstein,” the voice suggested. “That could help. This is the President…The American people are behind you. Or, rather, underneath you. Maybe the ghosts are protecting some hidden gold,” he concluded hopefully before hanging up.
“Wei Ning just jumped out the window,” observed Einstein. “The ghosts must have held a special terror for him.”
“The ghosts have claimed their first victim, unless he’s fine,” said a grim Twain.
“Well, partner, I guess this is it. I’m not turning into one of them,” breathed an emotional Einstein as he held a cocked pistol to his head. “See you in hell!”
“Now, now, Al, let’s not get ahead of ourselves,” advised Twain, taking the pistol away. “We’ve already met you as a ghost, but that was in the future! I’m sure we can handle these surly specters without handling a sweat,” he continued hastily as Einstein brought out a harpoon. “Let’s look around for a secret grave.” Einstein nodded, and put the harpoon away.
They found it three hours later- a mound behind the Captain’s chair. Digging it up, they discovered a body- the body of a young woman. “You can go now,” shouted Twain to the ghosts. “Colonize the moon.” It turned out the head of NASA had murdered her and placed her on the shuttle to avoid being caught, also some Native Americans who had objected to his schemes had been his victims as well, they were in the laundry bin.
“Now let’s go blow up that part of space,” said Einstein. And they did.