Here We Come Aunt Margaret!Somebody called him Lief shortly after he proposed the idea. It stuck. "Why not?" he boomed in the same voice that overwhelmed objections in all his affairs, "We know there's something there worth going to visit." Genius may be 99% perspiration, but the rest is a combination of formidable intelligence and a knack for seeing things differently. Where you or I feel an annoying spark when the weather is cold and dry, genius envisions city lighting. A rise in the water level indicates the presence of a bikini clad newcomer to the spa tub or a way to tell lead from gold. He knew, we knew, there was something there because of the message. It had come, as far as we could tell, from a small group of suns that seemed to be moving independently of our galaxy, moving toward us. The message said, as far as we could tell, "Hi. How are you doing? We are well. Aunt Margaret is really enjoying herself." It's not clear how Leif deduced from the message that we should go visit. He already had an aunt, although her name was Alma. She was his only living relative and he called her once a year on her birthday. Other than that, he wasn't much for human contact. Maybe he thought he could relate to the star people. He had boomed his way through making a fortune with a company that developed warehouse software. He sold out before the dot com bust, retired and was growing increasingly bored about the time the message arrived. It energized him, it made him see greater vistas, it made him get back in business. He still had contacts; he knew people in high places all over the world. He boomed through them, arguing indefatigably for his point of view. No need to construct a spaceship, he argued, we can get there a much safer way. He hired engineers and astrophysicists, marketers and public relations. He bought advertising and opinion. He was everywhere, booming people into submission. In the end he prevailed. Nation after nation simply gave in to his idea; once he had China, Brazil and France convinced, the rest was easy. We would move the sun and point it in the direction of the group of suns (or, more correctly, where we projected the group of suns and our sun would meet some multi millenia in the future). The Solar System and the Earth would be dragged along, like a U-Haul trailer. We would go traveling with all the comforts of home. There was a little fuss from the doomsday people and the environmental crowd kicked up some significant storms, but nobody ever paid them that much attention anyway. The technical details were worked out by the engineers and astrophysicists. It wasn't hard once they saw things Leif's way. Well, more correctly, it was hard, inducing the gigantic superheated plasma that is our sun to spew out material in controlled fashion and in a single direction took more than a few decades of work. But Leif kept booming at the technical people year after year and decade after decade and they finally got it working. We started the journey last year. Already you can see small changes in the constellations by comparing photographs taken through a telescope. Here we come Aunt Margaret!
16 Jul 2012
Copyright © 2012 Truck Smith