Dispatches from Planet Cross

dog_luke.jpgby ZorgStardate 0x7d8

Greetings Commander, As you know from our last transmission, we have crashed our Star Cruiser on a small orb in the h4x0r system. We located a replacement craft, and we have been modifying it for interstellar travel, but the local life forms have been commandeering it before we can complete the repairs. For fear of being discovered, we have been hiding in the "couches" amongst the other alien life forms (there are many). It seems that once every seven planetary rotations, they load the craft with simple machines and explore the outer reaches of their metropolis.

couch_ewwhite.jpgThis mission they call the "Chicago Cyclocross Cup" is now at its halfway point, with 5 such excursions completed. Thanks to the Captain of their ship (and one of their new shipmates), we were able to witness one of these events from our couch habitat. Some of them push these machines through difficult terrain. The rest of them start fires, cook, eat, drink, and occasionally yell at their shipmates as they pass. Curious behavior.

al_velogrrl.jpgThe one named Al seems to be exceptionally eager to reach his destination. On one occasion, he spent 45+ minutes in something called a "3s race" but apparently he did not find what he was looking for, as he continued his quest with another 60+ minute mission later that afternoon in the "1/2/3s race." So far, he has finished 15th, 11th (twice), 7th, and 8th in the 3s. He's currently in 8th place overall.

adam_jeffkao.jpgThe one they call Adam is also quite skilled. In this photo, he seems to be defying their gravity by flying over a barrier. He has finished the 3s races in 14th, 6th, and 15th and he's in 15th place overall, despite missing several excursions. It seems he possesses some sort of special fuel. He has been seen encoding messages on "hot dogs" (see above), and then he ingests them, often in large numbers.

molly_luke.jpgThis ship's crew do not always return from these outings in pristine condition. Molly, pictured here, damaged her lower extremities during a forceful collision. Nonetheless, she was able to re-mount her machine, and convey them both to the finish line, finishing 6th, and she has been healing slowly ever since.

ben_ewwhite.jpgOne of them, Ben, has apparently spent a lot of time conveying these machines through the loose dirt of this planet, as he is pictured here traversing a corner at a high rate of speed, with a long train of racers in pursuit. Apparently the "hills" of Illinois don't seem to faze him. The one curiously named "James" finished 6th in her first race, but she is still a top secret member, and thus cannot be photographed in action. Another one, a guest crewmate named Mike (aka 40), has also been bringing home results in team colors: 19th (Masters) and 4th, 9th, and 15th in the 4s, where he sits in 12th overall.

avi_luke.jpgOne of them, Avi, has only completed two of these events (Masters' 11th and 14th), but he chose to celebrate the anniversary of his birth at one of them. He claims he had a good time, with punk rock music emanating from the ship, brewed beverages, and his small offspring in attendance, however, it appears from the photographs that he has just been stabbed with an oxidized eating utensil.

max_luke.jpgHowever, in the chase for overall supremacy, only one of them, Max, seems to be within striking distance of such glory, in the 4s. After finishing his races in 6th (twice), 3rd, 4th, and 7th, he is only two points out of 1st place overall. We will keep you apprised.

We do not anticipate a launch opportunity any time soon, as this craft will also embark to Cyclocross Nationals in Kansas city.

These images were intercepted from the Flickr accounts of ewwhite, velogrrl, jeffkao, and Luke. We highly recommend the Mothership buys a calendar to keep track of this planet's rotations.