What would you say if the whole world was listening?

I just finished a book about a guy who wins a spaceflight from a “Richard Branson-esque” private spaceflight company. Tragedy ensues (of course, else it would have been a much shorter book), the pilot of the craft is killed after they are up in orbit (for what was supposed to be a “three hour tour” and YES, the guy does reference Gilligan’s Island in the book) and all communication is lost between the ship and the ground. Or WAS it?!??

Anyway, this guy knows he has enough air (and enough Powerbars and water) to last five days; he tries unsuccessfully to do what it takes to bring the ship back down (he was given some rudimentary training for a few days before the flight, but I would assume it would be like trying land your tandem freefall parachute jump yourself after your instructor has died while strapped to your back). He eventually settles down to sort of accept his fate, as it were.

However, there is a laptop on the ship so he starts typing his life story: the things he did right and wrong, the things he wished he had done different, etc all in the hope that perhaps one day his children might be able to read it. What he doesn’t know is that laptop is set up on a live download link to earth (which still works) and that a hacker kid in New Zealand (stay with me) has found the feed. He sends it to friends and eventually it gets to the media and after a day or two the whole planet is aware of this crisis in space and is following his words as they are being written. They are scrolling on the bottom of news channels and all over the internet and on the big screen in Times Square; the whole world has basically stopped what they were doing to see this play out and see what this person has to say. He writes hundreds of pages (he has the time, after all) detailing his greatest joys, his deepest sorrows and those choices that he most regrets.

The kicker is that the guy in space has no idea that anyone is seeing what he is writing. This results in his telling some quite personal information including a lot of detail of his first sexual encounter but eventually he just starts telling what he has learned in life, the mistakes he has made and what he would do different if he had the chance.

The chance that the people watching his words now DO have.

Needless to say, the effect on those watching was great, with people having realizations about themselves, their loved ones and they way in which they have lived their lives.

So my question to you is: “What would you say if the whole world was listening?”

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One thought on “What would you say if the whole world was listening?

  1. Gerald Biehle Thursday April 24, 2008 at 8:54 am Reply

    I am McLovin!

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