Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Interlude

[my journal of alien contact] continues...

It is said that if you could randomly teleport to any part of the universe, then 99 % of the time you would find yourself in empty space, devoid of stars. If you were lucky, you’d see smudges in the distance indicating galaxies.

It’s just as well that teleportation is impossible.

Technically, that’s not true. Over the past two hundred years, scientists have discovered different ways to change lab cockroaches into energy, beam their energy particles across an eight foot room, and then change them back into physical lab cockroaches at the other end. The basic problem was an age-old one, though: when the energy turned back into matter, all the cockroaches were dead. Scientists were determined to get it right, but the experiments provoked outcries from the Cockroach Preservation League, and the project eventually was shelved.

Still, some people never gave up. As it turned out, the missing escape pod from Kookaburra IV was the biggest teleportation experiment ever. The results were mixed: the colestronauts returned alive to the Kookaburra, but the escape pod was nowhere to be found. The celestronauts’ protective suits were gone, too. Before they returned to hibernation, they had a brief press conference on the TIC, consisting of one question and answer:

Reporter: What does teleportation feel like?
Celestronaut: It doesn’t matter.


At least the TIC was fully-functioning again.

“I think the teleportation incident was a publicity stunt,” I said to Zeke.

“Something to give the people hope that they can someday get around all this business of slow space-travel?” Zeke asked.

“Exactly,” I said. “What I don’t understand is why we would risk the lives, the project, everything, for this stunt.”

“Maybe it really never happened at all,” Zeke said. “Maybe they made it all up.”

Science-fiction in these modern times? Now, there’s a thought.


The bird after which the spaceship was named

3 comments:

Lone Star Ma said...

Yay! The saga continues!

Lone Star Ma said...

Wait, wait...they're celestronauts.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

LSM: Thanks! This is why editors are very necessary. I have lost count of the times I've heard of characters' eyes changing color, etc.