Aphelion Issue 235, Volume 22
December 2018
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For All Mankind

by C. E. Gee

“C’mon in,” said Margaret in response to the knock at her office door.

Margaret didn’t have a lecture scheduled until late afternoon, so she’d decided to work on her next magazine article until then.

Tonia, another professor at the university, entered and asked, “You too busy to talk?”

Margaret wagged her head.

Tonia sat on the couch across from Margaret’s desk. Tonia said, “Your hubby was just in my office, checking out some sort of cable that was under my desk.”

Margaret replied, “Well, Kevin’s job in the Physical Plant Department causes him to roam all around the University. Sorry he disturbed you.”

“Listen to this,” said Tonia, “My very first class this morning a student arrived early. He had something to tell me.”

“This student was taking an elective class called Aerospace Studies. In his class yesterday, students watched a video about the first moon landing.”

“This student’s major is English Lit. He told me the astronaut who first stepped on the moon had said “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for all mankind.”

“The student then told me that the missing ‘A’ before the word man was not a mistake like many people assume. He said an astronaut like that does not make many mistakes.”

“So when Kevin was working in my office I happened to mention my conversation with the student. Kevin laughed, said that one of his friends might be interested in my student’s observation.”

Margaret smugly replied, “No doubt. I’ll talk to my husband tonight, find out if he’s contacted his friend.”


That evening, at the dining room table, Margaret said, “I talked to Tonia today. I understand you two had quite a conversation.”

Kevin replied, “Yep.”

“Did you talk about that conversation with any of your friends?” asked Margaret.


“What was said?” asked Margaret.

Kevin replied, “You know the guy who runs the electronic parts distributorship across the highway from the Honda motorcycle shop?”

Around a sly smirk Margaret answered, “Unfortunately.”

Kevin continued with, “The conversation I had with Tonia involved the first moon landing. “When I asked my friend if he knew of what the astronaut said –- the guy at the electronics shop started yakking about one of his crazy theories. He said that the missing ‘A’ was deliberate.”


Kevin replied, “He said the astronaut knew all about space aliens. His speech on the moon was a clever way of informing those of the public who were intelligent to figure out what was going on.”

Leaning back in her chair, Margaret exclaimed, Seriously!?”

“Think about this,” ordered Kevin. “The guy at the electronics parts distributorship told me that the word man can be defined as bipedal primates. The word kind when used as a suffix means that whatever is referred to has similar characteristics as the previous part of the word. So in this instance mankind means something that has the same characteristics as man.”

“He also told me that he believed the theory that comets or meteors or whatever seeded early Earth with microorganisms. The microorganisms eventually evolved into higher life forms.”

“Since the microorganisms came from other places in our galaxy, much of life in our galaxy is related.”

Margaret shook her head as Kevin continued with, “Once Earth’s life evolved into primates, aliens from other planets modified the primate DNA so that we became hominids.”

Margaret said, “That’s some pretty deep stuff.”



2018 C. E. Gee

C. E. "Chuck" Gee misspent his youth at various backwater locales within the states of Oregon and Alaska.

Chuck has been a logger, factory worker, infantryman (Vietnam war draftee, 1968), telecommunications technician, volunteer fireman and EMT, light show roady, businessperson.

Retired from the telecommunications/electronics industries and also a disabled veteran, Chuck now writes Science Fiction.

His blog is at https://kinzuakid.blogspot.com

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