Tuesday, 27 October 2009

MULTIPLY Wordsmiths Challenge #10: The Travel Agency

other worlds

Moving up, moving up
Head over the clouds
A silky smooth layer of fluff
to overcome and float above
Pilot’s thoughts as he sails
onwards seeking new worlds
The moon overcame
so many years before
Now planets, universes far flung
to be discovered for a holiday

which is all very well, if you look at it on the romantic side of things, but being an agent for universal holidays, you do encounter some problems. I remember when I had my first assignment with our first tourists on Mars; red sand everywhere and two moons. When the first customers arrived I had to be there to show them the ropes. At least we had transformed the atmosphere into something breathable so they did not have to walk around looking like the first pioneers of space shuttle discoveries. They had a nice comfortable hotel on the edge of a crater, but they were not happy.

“Where is the sea?” was the first question they had.

“Madam, you see those pumps just in the distance. There you will find water enough to swim. Mars has no oceans, just the water beneath the surface which is pumped daily. Mars is a holiday planet for walking excursions, there is just no planet in our system with oceans except for earth.”

“No thank you, we tried your artificial swimming pools yesterday, but our skin became red from the water, stained from Mars earth. I still have blotches on my legs. Are you telling me that we paid out a lot of money to spend our holidays on Mars, and we should have remained on earth.”

This was one of many similar complaints, so we had to strike Mars from the list at that time. The moons were also not very popular with our visitors. They had trouble sleeping at night.

We had a big hit with Mercury, but the problem was we could only develop the area laying on the border between hot and cold which was not very wide; a planet that revolves with one side facing the sun all the time and the other facing, well nothing really. There were too many tourists either being burnt or freezing to death and that is no advertisement for a holiday.

Eventually we found the ideal solution. We rediscovered Mars and built towers reaching above the clouds. You say that Mars has no clouds. That was the difficult part. Our designers said that we should have buildings poking through clouds with a view of the two Mars moons which would be ideal for a romantic honeymoon.

Thanks to the man’s progress, the clouds were quickly organised. We built a couple of nuclear power plants on the Mars surface with those large chimneys pouring out water vapour. They were, of course, useful for electricity supplies. It was a success. We naturally designed our high buildings with panorama windows. Our tourists are delighted.

“Look at the view Charles, just fantastic. What a lovely place to spend our honeymoon.”

“Yes darling, we are really living above the clouds; and the moons are so impressive.”

Unfortunately one of our nuclear stations exploded last week, and we lost a few honeymooners when the tower came tumbling down, our engineers are working on it.

Where am I going on holiday this year you ask? We are staying on earth. I was given a tip by a friend on mine working on the earth tours. There is a little place somewhere in Russia called Tschernobyl. A few hundred years ago it was destroyed by a small chemical mistake. My contact told me that it is now the best place to go. The food is good, fruit twice as large as you will find anywhere in the world. Animal life is really interesting. You do not have to visit far off planets for animals with six legs or three eyes, they are all to be found in Tschernobyl. They even have camels with three humps Yes, such is modern science and development. Even the earth has its places to relax.

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