Athena III Part-A

Lord Wasteland

Dec 31, 2011
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May 13th, 1973, Low Earth Orbit

Commander Jonathan O'Ryan checked the communications of the Athena III as it approached the station. His target, Spacelab, was a cooperating point between the Soviet space program and NASA, for mutual expeditions to the moon. “Hey William, nice to head to space, eh?” Jonathan asked his lander pilot as the spacecraft grew closer to the station.

“Shut up, you damn Yank!” William replied in a harsh tone, as he tried to not look out the window.

“Gotcha, Will. Pat, how's the approach looking?” Jonathan replied in a sarcastic tone, looking at the station.

Jonathan had yet to be to Spacelab, but considering the station had been launched in late 1971, just after Apollo 20, his last mission before the Artemis missions. He had trained for the Athena II mission, as a flight backup. His experience with the Apollo 20 mission got him as commander of Athena III. As well, as the commander of the mission, and now Mission Control commander of the Athena missions, Kari Finch, may have also helped him get the job, he thought to himself.

“Jon, Jon? You there?” Patrick was asking the commander as he waved his hand in front of the commander's eyes.

“Yes, what?” Jonathan asked suddenly as he turned his head around, hitting his head against the back of the capsule. He rubbed his head as he glanced at the orbiter pilot.

“I have an approach vector of 1.9m/s. Control is saying that the Reds are waiting for us,” Patrick replied, as his eyes glowered at saying the word 'Reds'.

“Ease it Pat, don't want the Russians pissed at us.”

“They are our enemies! We shouldn't even be working with them!”

“Pat, shut up! We are working with them for international cooperation,” Jonathan yelled at the orbiter pilot, angry at what he had just told him, “The 73rd Fighter Squadron flew with the VVS, and my father was in that squadron. He had respect for them, they were brave no matter the danger. So shut your mouth, and do not insult them, got it!?”

“Yes Jonathan,” Patrick replied, shutting up right away. He adjusted and slowed the ship down, just as the ship docked.

Jonathan heard the clunk of the capsule, and radioed Houston, “This is Athena III, we have hard-dock, over.”

“Copy that, Athena III, Houston out,” the voice of Kari Finch replied before the radio shut off.

Jonathan, unbuckled himself, and pulled himself down to the airlock. After checking the air pressure was nominal, he opened the interior and then exterior airlock, to see two Russians. “Greetings comrade!” the commander of the two Russians exclaimed jubilantly, saluting the commander.
“Hello, Commander Muriski,” Jonathan replied, extending his hand to the commander. However, he didn't expected being hugged by the Russian commander in a bear hug.

“Excuse me, Ivan?” Jonathan asked, as he struggled to get out of the Russian's tight grip. Suddenly the Russian let go, and he started to do several flips in the zero-G before he caught himself.

'Ugh,' Jonathan thought to himself, as he offered his hand to the other Russian crewmember. “Commander Jonathan O'Ryan,” Jonathan told her, offering his hand to her.

“Pilot Ekaterina Vasilya,” the pilot of the Soyuz replied, shaking his hand, in a strict manner, before pulling herself to her capsule.

'What a strange pair,' Jonathan thought to himself, as he saw the male laughing hysterically, while the female seemed very strict.