It took a few hours, but finally, the Pussycats were headed for Earth. They saw it through the window as they were coming towards it.
"Okay, we're locked on target," Valerie said. "All we have to do is pull this switch . . . ."
"I'll do it," Alexandra said.
"NO!" everyone else shouted at once, as Alex, Melody, Josie, Bleep, and Sebastian jumped on her. All of them crashed to the floor of the craft.
"Hey!" Alexandra shouted. "Get off of me, you bean bags!"
"Sorry, Sis, but we're not taking any chances!" Alex shouted.
"Oooohhh, wait'll I get my hands on you!" Alexandra yelled.
"Better hurry and get this ship down to Earth," Josie said. "I don't know how long we can hold her!"
"Right!" Valerie shouted, and she pulled the switch. Then she jumped into one of the seats, and buckled up.
"Okay, everybody!" she shouted. "Fasten your seat belts!"
Everyone jumped into their seats and buckled up. As a precaution, both Josie and Alex strapped Alexandra into her seat with about four belts so she couldn't get up and mess with the controls.
"Very comical, brother," she said. "Very comical!"
"Like I said, Sis," Alex said, as he buckled his seat belt. "We're not taking any chances!"
Alexandra growled. The space ship then began to bounce a little. It stopped, went forward a bit, stopped again, and finally took off like a shot, downward.
"Uh oh," Alan said. "Something tells me this is going to be a rough landing!"
"Better brace yourselves!" Valerie shouted.
The ship began to fall faster and faster. It didn't even slow down after it broke the Earth's stratosphere. Everyone grabbed onto their seats, and waited for the impact. The ship crashed right through the roof of a building and finally stopped. They ended up in the Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC. The patrons in the museum just stared at the ship, wondering what the heck it was. Finally, a door opened, and the Pussycats climbed out.
"Wow, what a landing," Josie asked.
"At least we're back on Earth!" Valerie shouted.
"Thank goodness it's all over!" Alex replied.
"What kinda kooky invasion is this?!" a security guard asked. "What kind of aliens are you?!"
"Oh, we're not aliens," Melody said, with a giggle. "We're Pussycats!"
"Say, ain't you kids that rock group that got launched into space awhile back?" the security guard asked.
"That's us all right," Valerie said. "And let me tell you, it's good to be back!"
"Sorry we crashed through your roof," Melody said. "We didn't know how to land the ship."
"Just send the bill to my father," Alexandra replied. And with that, Josie and the gang left the museum and headed for a hotel.
When the gang got to their hotel rooms, phones began ringing off the hook. Every single magazine in DC was trying to out-scoop each other of the news. And every time Josie or one of the others hung up the phone, it would ring again.
"I'm about to rip that thing right out of the wall," Alexandra groaned as the phone rang again.
"I'll get it," Alex said, picking up the phone. "Hello?"
"Alex! Welcome back to Earth!" the person on the other end said. "So, do I get the exclusive interview or what?"
"Hi, Robert," Alex said with a laugh. "You know you're the tenth person who's called about an interview. And we're gonna tell you the same thing we've told everyone. Not yet."
"Give us a break, Robert, we've been in outer space for who knows how long! We need a break!"
And with that, Alex hung up the phone. Then he groaned, and practically collapsed onto the bed. The minute he did that, the phone rang again.
"Could somebody else get it?" he asked. "I'm exhausted!"
"I got it," Melody said, picking up the phone. "Hello? Yes, I'm a Pussycat. Yes? It is? You are? You're kidding. You're kidding! You're kidding!"
The others just looked at Melody, wondering what in the world was going on. Then she covered the receiver with her hand and turned to her friends.
"He's kidding," she said.
"Oh brother," Alex groaned.
"Give me the phone, Melody," Josie said, and the drummer handed it over. "Hello? No, that was Melody you were talking to. I'm Josie. Yes? Really? Wow, you're kidding!"
"Here we go again," Valerie said.
"Let me check with the others," Josie said, and she put her hand on the receiver. "Guys, it's the White House calling! The President heard about what happened travels and they want to honor us for our heroics!"
"You're kidding!" Alan shouted.
"Let's not go through that again!" Alexandra shouted.
"We're all invited to the White House tomorrow for it," Josie said. "And all the press is going to be there."
"Tell him we'll do it," Alex said. "Then hang up. I've got to make some calls."
"To who?" Valerie asked.
"Reggie and Robert, for starters," Alex said. "Then Josie's parents, Melody's parents, your parents, Alan's parents, and of course, my parents so my dad can arrange to get everyone back home over here to DC."
"All right, sir," Josie said, turning back to the phone. "We're all set for tomorrow. Thank you!"
Josie hung up the phone, and she, Valerie, and Melody began talking at once, practically squealing with excitement. Alex picked up the phone and made his phone calls.
The next day, the Pussycats and their friends were standing on a stage with the President of the United States, in front of the White House. There were newspaper reporters, photographers, and television camera crews all over the place. The President of the United States and some of the members of his cabinet were with them. The President stood at a podium, and tapped the microphone.
"Is this thing on?" he asked. "Testing, one, two, three . . . . fore score and seven migraines ago . . . ."
"It's on, sir," one of the President's cabinet said, before the President could make a fool of himself.
"Oh," the President said. "Right. Ladies and gentlemen, fellow Americans, and music lovers, we are here today to pay tribute to a very extraordinary feat accomplished by a regular, every day musical group. This musical group has done what no other musical group has done before, and that is go into outer space! We are here to give this special award, honoring the bravery of this all girl trio and their friends, for going above and beyond the call of duty for a musical group. And now, here to accept the award, the front woman of the band, Josie McCoy, of Josie and the Pussycats."
The crowd went wild with applause. Well, except Alexandra. She just gave a couple of half hearted claps. Josie stepped up to the podium, and took the plaque from the President, and shook his hand.
"Thank you very much, Mr. President," she said. "My friends and I are honored to accept this award. We definitely wouldn't have made it back to Earth without the help of Valerie Brown and Alan M. Mayberry, who managed to figure out the ship controls and fix the engines when we needed them."
More applause followed, and then Josie and the Pussycats played a number. When they were finished, the President said a few more words (but no one really paid any attention to him), and the crowd broke up.
A couple of days later, the Pussycats and their friends were back in their hometown, hanging out at Robert's sister's house. Robert's sister, Sadie, was in the kitchen, claiming she was cooking up something for Josie and the gang.
"Some awards ceremony," Alexandra griped. "One plaque for six people."
"And two animals," Melody said, with a giggle.
"Well, it's the thought that counts," Alan said.
"Hmph," Alexandra grumbled.
"Oh, Alexandra, don't be such a spoilsport," Valerie replied.
"Besides, Sis, we wouldn't even have been in that situation if if weren't for you," Alex commented.
"Might I remind you, brother dear," Alexandra said, "that if it also weren't for me, you would not have even made it back? In fact, none of you would've!"
"You know, she's right," Josie said. "If it hadn't been for Alexandra, that giant spider would've gotten us all. She was the one who got rid of it using the Ursa Berries."
"Too bad they were poisonous," Melody said with a sigh. "I would've loved to taste one! They looked so much like strawberries!"
"Well, personally," Alex replied. "I never want to see another strawberry as long as I live!"
"Me neither," Alexandra replied.
"Okay guys!" Sadie called from the kitchen. "I've got something for you!"
Sadie came out of the kitchen carrying a covered tray. Reggie and Robert were behind her.
"When I told her you guys were back on Earth, she wanted to bake you guys something special," Robert said.
"That, and it's my homework for my cooking class," Sadie replied. "I thought I'd kill two birds with one stone."
"Well, we appreciate it, Sadie," Josie said. "Let's see it."
"Okay," Sadie replied. She put the tray on the table, and took the lid off of it, revealing a large, strawberry shortcake, complete with big, red strawberries on the top of it.
"Oooohhh," Alex moaned. "Strawberries. I think I'm gonna faint."
"Move over," Alexandra said. "I think I'm gonna join you!"
And with that, both Alex and Alexandra crashed to the floor. Robert, Reggie, and Sadie stared at them.
"What's the matter with them?" Reggie asked.
"It's kind of a long story," Alan said, and he, the Pussycats, and Bleep began laughing. And, of course, Sebastian snickered.