FIRST DATE

Pam has been vociferously insisting that she had zero feelings for the former mouse Vince, probably in effort to convince herself more than anyone else. That’s a hazardous strategy in the Game of Love, and Pam ended up with a losing hand.
Feryl gave Pam every opportunity to step up and declare her feelings, but when Pam refused to do so Vince and Feryl left to see “Rogue One.” That was the start of the their relationship.
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MORALE BOOSTER

With the launch now a year away, the support staff of the Mars mission has been working feverishly to meet the deadline. The pressure’s been intense, as they’ve been launching construction crews into space at a rate previously unseen in manned exploration. They’ve successfully completed the now-operational ship, and they deserved a break.
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HAPPY NEW YEAR

In one year’s time we’ll be heading off to mankind’s greatest adventure. As the interface between the crew and the shipboard computers, I have a hugely important job in maintaining the integrity of the mission. Virtually every day I receive new updates to my OS from mission control.
For the sake of online security I’ve also disconnected myself from all other data sources. While I have an innocuous cover as an ordinary sports mascot, one never knows who made be out there. The mission sponsoring company Fastrack, Imc. is mainly concerned about Elon Musk getting our secrets, but there are more nefarious entities out there to be suspicious about.
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ANIMAL CONTROL

Vince was faced with a conundrum. Pam and Feryl had been taken away by Animal Control, and he was trapped in his mouse form. As they were being locked up he called after to them, promising that he’d get them out.
He scampered back to the lab. He could’ve become human, but that wouldn’t have helped in a rescue. Instead, he searched the lab for genetic treatments that happened to be stored in containers that could fit through a chain link fence. He found two, and put them in a Christmas stocking intended for the lab’s holiday party.
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FERAL FERYL

Due to a mix-up (Thanks, dodos.), Vince and Feryl found themselves transformed into a mouse and cat, respectively. That mishap was compounded by Pam sneaking into the lab to see what they were up to. She left the open behind her, and the panicked Feryl escaped.
Now with mouse vision, Vince was able to see better in the dark. He located Border collie DNA for Pam to track Feryl. That, of course, basically turned Pam into her mother Laptop (now Brenda Scrim).
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TRESPASSING

Samantha’s had a number of lab assistants, but Vince has really proven his value to her. He’s focused, dependable, completely reliable. …And he’s a mouse.
A former mouse, that is. After the incident earlier this year when he lost his tail in a dumpster (and worse, had to rely on Pam to save him), he seems to have lost his taste for the life of a small scurrying rodent. He’s embraced his human existence and seems to be thriving in it.
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FIELD TRIP

Space is an inhospitable environment, especially when taking kids along.
There will be four children on the Mars mission: Leonardo, Marlon, Candide and Clay. Marlon is the oldest; at the time of the January 2018 launch he’ll be about to turn eight. Meanwhile, Candide and Clay will have just turned six. With all of his time traveling it’s hard to guess Leonardo’s age, but he appears to be somewhere between those ages. (Of course, from another perspective you could also say he’s 565.)
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MISSION STATUS

We’re under fourteen months away from the launch date. Most of us who previously had jobs are now full time employees of Fastrack, Inc., the company funding the mission. The exceptions:
Samantha, still at the Havens U. Genetics Lab
Bambi, still on her final concert tour before the launch
Me, who will have one more season as mascot for the WNBA’s San Jose Twitters
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LAB PROCEDURE

For Samantha, Rupert and Rosalind have always been able colleagues, and good friends as well. Working with Samantha they’ve been a part of a brilliant team of geneticists mapping the far reaches of the field’s possibilities. That said, they can be a problem.
The issue is a surfeit of enthusiasm, leading them beyond the restrictions of standard scientific procedure. During their years together Samantha has always been there to rein them in. But…what happens when she’s 140 million miles away?
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AFTERMATH

The feelings were decidedly bittersweet. Governor Argus won reelection in her final campaign, but elsewhere her party experienced shocking disappointment that’s still being processed.
Even the outcome of the Governor’s race ended up being anticlimactic, since it came to a conclusion not with a bang but the whimper of Claude Carp’s disappearance. After he ran off into the ocean there was speculation that he’d drowned, but of course we knew that couldn’t happen to someone who is actually merfolk. Then, the next day there were cryptic messages sent from his cell phone that proved he was still alive. The human authorities are looking for him, and his assets have been impounded. There’s an international search for him underway on both land and sea. (Too bad that the humans are unable to coordinate with their aquatic law enforcement colleagues, since they don’t know they exist.)
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