Jupiter by Earl_Dukov

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Starbucks CEO John Kevins pushed a folder labeled "classified" across his spacious desk. "Open this and tell me what you see," he said.

Seated opposite him Carissa, an experienced Starbucks barista, opened the folder and glanced at a glossy photograph of a planet. She peeked up at Mr. Kevins.

"What does that look like to you Carissa?" asked Mr. Kevins leaning forward; "what do you see?"

"I...dunno," said Carissa, "maybe it's a planet, like Jupiter or something...?"

"Excellent!" said Mr. Kevins. "Yes, Carissa that's exactly what you see, a photo of the planet Jupiter."

"Um...why am I here...?"

"We'll get to that later," said Mr. Kevins clearing his throat. "Now, tell me, what is Jupiter made of?"

Carissa looked at the photo then up at Mr. Kevins. "Um...gas? I dunno I'd have to Google it maybe."

Mr. Kevins smiled. "Up until recently I would've agreed with you," he said, "but things have changed."

Carissa gave him a blank look.

"Recently scientists here at Starbucks International have made a startling discovery, a discovery that will change us forever. You see, they discovered that Jupiter isn't made up of gas as it says on Wikipedia. No, it turns out Jupiter is made almost entirely of steamed milk."

Carissa squinted hard at the photo. "April Fools' was last week," she thought.

"Now I know how that sounds," continued Mr. Kevins, "like some big April Fools' joke, right?"

Carissa nodded.

"Look at the photo again," said Mr. Kevins smiling. "What do those frothy swirls on Jupiter look like to you?"

Carissa looked again, he had a point.

"They look like the steamed milk you'd add to a hot cup of coffee don't they Carissa?"

"Well...kinda," said Carissa, not sure anymore, "What does this have to do with me again?"

"Ahh, now we get to the crux of the matter," said Mr. Kevins, "the reason you are here." He stood and turned to look out a large office window. "Carissa," he said, "I'm told you're the best."

"The best?" she said.

"The best," said Mr. Kevins. "The best barista we have. What's it they call you, 'the wizard of the steam wand'?"

Carissa blushed.

"As you know," continued Mr. Kevins, "there are almost fifty billion people on Earth now, and the simple fact is we're running out of milk. Imagine Carissa, a world without steamed milk for lattes! I shudder at the thought." Mr. Kevins turned toward her. "Not on my watch," he muttered. "Here is what I want you to do," said Mr. Kevins, looking Carissa in the eye.

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Two years later, staring through a porthole in the privately built spaceship the Latte Grande, Carissa looked down at Jupiter and wondered again how her after school barista job had led to this. "Barista Carissa, ready the suction boom," said a voice over the intercom.

"Boom ready," said Carissa, watching the end of a long hose disappear into the steamy, buttery smooth froth of Jupiter's surface.

"And I don't even like coffee," sighed Carissa. 

The End

~~~

Earl is probably an amateur at everything he does. Despite this, he still enjoys many things in life such as writing, fishing, watching movies, irony, and defining himself in 2000 characters or less. Sometimes Earl gets sidetracked by Wikipedia. He won 1st place in June 2018 @ScienceFiction contest!

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