Twenty sixth century gossip
Another attempt at sci-fi.
Twenty sixth century gossip.
Now I’m telling you this in confidence, Jake can teleport. He came straight out with it.
“Sam,” he said, “I can teleport.”
Naturally I laughed and replied, “Jake, we can all teleport. All one has to do is get to the nearest Teleport Pad, find a vacant export booth, dial a destination, swipe platinum and away one’s molecules go.”
Well, we all know, don’t we, it’s that easy to travel from anywhere within the United States of Greater Europe to say, the Australasian Islamic Republic in five seconds? And much of those five seconds is taken up with dialling and swiping. Not that many in the USGE, in my view, would want to go to the alcohol free AIR, although plenty in the AIR seem to want to come to the alcohol logged USGE; it’s just an example of the furthest available trip on this planet.
As we also know, the annoying bit about the teleport service is the time it takes to get to and from the Teleport Pads. It’s a disgrace, considering we are in the second half of the twenty sixth century. Five seconds to travel twelve thousand miles, but then two or three hours getting to and from Teleport Pads, it’s almost unbelievable! Not that I’m one to complain but that part of travel hasn’t improved in centuries and it’s about time it did.
Getting back to Jake, however, he said to me, “No, you don’t understand, I’ve discovered that I can teleport independently without any technical assistance, without the need for Teleport Pads!”
Now that is one up man ship of the highest calibre in anyone’s language. No more wasted hours getting to a Teleport Pad, and then more precious time wasted getting to a final destination.
I responded as I always do when I’m confused. “Pardon?” I said. So he repeated himself and, “I don’t need Teleport Pads,” he emphasised, giving me that frustrated, how thick you are, look of his.
Thick or not, I’m the only person he’s told so far because obviously such a talent has important political implications, but he needed to share it with someone, and he knows that I’m not one to gossip, just as I know that you’ll not repeat anything I tell you in confidence! Jill Gates, the eighteenth President of the Micro Teleport Corporation, is very upset that her monopoly is at risk I can tell you, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
Jake doesn’t yet know how he developed his amazing natural ability but tells me it happened just after he’d taken his Martian Wheat cereal pills for breakfast.
“I was just idly spinning my table top breakfast pill carousel,” he explained to me. “Couldn’t make my mind up between devilled kidneys and bacon egg and tomato to follow the cereal pill, or perhaps something more exotic from an off world plantation,” he paused and went into a short daydream at that point and finally went on. “Then my eye was attracted to an advertising picture by my view wall,” Jake paused again here as he thought about that picture. “There in glorious colour,” he continued, “was a real time, life size, three dimensional holiday Holocast advertisement (courtesy of the Micro Teleport Vacation Bureau) showing a golden beach of suntanned beauties clad in the popular modesty strips.”
Jake was intrigued and naturally concentrated hard on the view. We all know how much Jake likes girls in modesty strips. But a moment later he was in it, or rather he was there, together with his table and chair and breakfast pills, and his lack of clothes; as he explained to me. “When I sat down in the buff to take breakfast I didn’t expect to finish up on a crowded beach. Well, one wouldn’t would one?” He said defensively.
How did he get back? He explained that he simply imagined his kitchen in as much detail as possible and then, there he was. At first he laughed and thought he’d got too engrossed with the advertisement and had imagined the whole thing. You know – wishful thinking and all that. But then he couldn’t explain the hot sand in between his toes and realised that it had happened.
As you’re aware from our school days together at Lunar Technical High, Jake was always the impatient one. He hasn’t changed one bit. He’d just experienced what he thought was independent teleportation and it had to be tested. There was no question of putting brain into gear first; it had to be tested there and then! You probably remember that anti gravity raft we all put together from scavenged parts at school. Who had to try it out before it was ready? Jake did! Who lost two arms, two legs and trashed one kidney? Jake did! It was just as well he’d joined the Micro Spare Personal Parts Insurance Scheme. They had him back together in six weeks as I recall. You’d think he’d learn wouldn’t you?
Anyhow he got some clothes on, he told me, and had a flash of inspiration. A week before, Jake hired one of those new two seater Beetle Bugs, the one’s that look a bit like the ladybird beetle. He was trying to impress his latest girl friend. It was the basic semi pressurised model, so he could only fly to ten thousand feet, but he reckoned that would be enough to impress the hell out of her. The view, he said, was quite spectacular. Rising sea levels have divided the State of Britain into a number of islands as you know; all connected by magnificent bridges. From his viewpoint, these and the reforested island counties offered a spectacular vista. What did he do? He brought to mind that picture in as much detail as he could in typical Jake fashion without any further thought. And it worked!
I suppose like me you’ve had the occasional nightmare in which you’ve screamed soundlessly at some unimaginable horror? If so, then also like me, you can put yourself in Jake’s place, ten thousand feet above the county of Kinder, enjoying the view for a brief instant, but without the comfort and safety of a Beetle Bug. This is how Jake told it.
He said, “Sam, I seemed to sort of float for a split second, looking down upon blue water and white topped waves overreached by the elegant and beautiful bridges which join the various islands of the State of Britain and the wider European archipelago. Then the cold hit me and the wind and a sickening falling sensation. It was only then that I realised I was indeed at ten thousand feet, but without air transport. I screamed like hell, couldn’t help myself.”
He looked at me soundlessly for a second or two and wiped his brow with one of those spotted handkerchiefs he favours, “I was bloody terrified,” he admitted. “In no time at all I must have reached a hundred miles per hour, I could barely breathe and my brain just wouldn’t function and Kinder County was getting bigger and bigger by the moment,” he paused for breath and shivered a little. “It took me about nine thousand five hundred feet to remember how I got there and how I could probably get back and I brought my kitchen into mind again in vivid detail. Thankfully it worked! There I was face down on my kitchen floor, alive and in need of a serious change of clothes,” he laughed ruefully.
Even the Micro Spare Personal Parts Insurance Scheme wouldn’t have been able to help with this one I thought, as he finished his tale. No replacement memory and personality, only body parts from ones own DNA. Perhaps one day! But I digress.
So was that was the end of Jake’s experiments? I can answer that question for you. You know Jake better than that!
After Jake re-dressed following a shower in his CleneOlite booth (isn’t that strange? It’s still called a shower even though there’s no water involved) he said he recalled that his new and possibly unique ability began with the Micro Teleport Vacation Bureau advert. Did the mighty Micro Teleport Corporation have something to do with it, he wondered? As Jake wondered, the answer to his wondering was pressing his front door Micro Chimes button. Opening the door, Jake told me, he was faced by a mountain of a man dressed in black, who told him – Jake – that Jill Gates wanted to see him and to get his coat. I’m sorry if this is little garbled but I’m trying to tell it as Jake told it to me. Now we all know Jake well, he doesn’t like being ordered around. I mean, remember the trouble that character trait got him into during his twelve month pre vocational State Service? He spent most of it in the glasshouse and was lucky we were allowed to visit him. Anyway, he told man mountain not today thank you and closed the door in his face.
Seconds later and his front door was flattened and the large black clad figure was striding over it. As the guy was too big to argue with, Jake ran for it and proved to be a lot faster than the man in black. Jake’s new legs are great, I must say. He couldn’t run at all fast at school with his old ones. You must remember, even you could beat him. Jake told me that he got about half a mile ahead when he remembered Micro SkyViz. It’s so unobtrusive that we all tend to forget it don’t we? Three or four hundred years ago and the powers that be started to put surveillance cameras on buildings to catch troublemakers. They were lucky in the days of our great, great, great etc grandfathers weren’t they? Their cameras could be got at and disabled. Today we’re observed from space with cameras that survey every inch of the planet with a resolution that the ancients could only dream about. Remembering this and realising that servants of Jill Gates were probably counting the hairs on his head as he ran, Jake stopped running. He had an edge. He had his new gift.
Jake told me, “I got as far as the Cheshire Lagoon Marina and let him catch up with me, he wasn’t built for running and could hardly speak but when he could, he repeated that Jill Gates wanted to see me and this time he said please.” Jake realised why immediately. They’d obviously picked up on his natural teleport ability, and now the woman who owned the technology behind the Teleport Pads wanted to know how he did it. The richest human being and most beautiful woman in the Sol planetary system wanted to see him and had said please!
Now Jake is impulsive but he’s not naïve. “I knew very well they’d dissect me as soon as look at me,” he told me. “But the chance of meeting the most unapproachable person in the galaxy was too much. However,” he said, “I decided to go in my own way, under my own steam as it were.” With that he vanished from the sight of man mountain as he brought to mind a recent glossy magazine Holocast view of the Gates’ palace gardens in the Combined Latino Americas Democratic Republic.
“She was there,” Jake whispered at me. “At least twenty eight stone of rippling blubber, and then she saw me and screamed, hurriedly touched an ear ring, and was transformed into the incredibly gorgeous creature the world knows her as. But it’s all fake Sam, some kind of all enveloping projection. I told her, I’m Jake and I’ve seen you as you really are so get off my case.” Jake’s hoping that’s all the insurance he’ll need to protect him from further trouble with Micro.
Look out here’s Jake now, don’t say I’ve told you anything. He’ll tell you in his own good time. When did all this happen? It happened yesterday Thirty First March, Twenty Five Sixty Nine. Shhh, don’t let on. “Hi Jake.”