Well, after reading all your comments - thank you so very much -- I've made a decision. #1 was the original story, and even those of you who picked number two brought up things that are a part of number one (the character interactions and relationship -- working together; and the science fiction/religion v. science aspect)...so i'm sticking with it. Plus, I finished it this afternoon (yea!!)...now I can give it a rest for a couple of days then read it again. Then it should be ready to send in. If, on the amazing chance they actually want it, I should tell them it was voted on by committee, LOL!
Having this support system on LJ is a huge benefit, I think -- thanks again, everyone! And have a wonderful and happy writing weekend!