Copyright 2017 Mario V. Farina
Shakespir Edition, License Notes
All Rights Reserved
No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means,
Electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information
Storage and retrieval system, without prior written permission of the author.
Correspondence may be directed to:
Mario V. Farina
Email: [email protected]
“Yes, Fred. What’s going on?”
“How long will it take you to get to the campus?”
“Twenty minutes or so, why?”
“Put on your pilot’s suit. You’re going to be taking the flight of your life! I’m in Professor Hardisty’s office. He’s going to be gone for several hours. This will be an adventure to top all the flights you’ve ever had with that Piper Cub you fly!”
“Sounds intriguing, Fred. Tell me more.”
“I’ve been helping Professor Hardisty with his latest work, as you know,” said Fred. “He has gone to the conference room where he will be meeting with a bunch of scientists to explain his newest invention. This will be the one that puts him in the history books forever. I am at the console with a Start button right in front of me. He told me not to touch it while he was gone. But I wanted to give you a chance to join me in trying something before anyone else has ever done it!”
“He told you not to touch anything. Why are you doing it?”
“Because I know exactly what he’s going to do, and I would like to be the first one that ever pushes that button. And I want you to be with me while I do it. This will be a flight like the world has never before seen. And one that you have never even thought possible. Together, we’ll have an experience that will beat all experiences we’ve ever had and ever have in the future!”
“Professor Hardisty left you in charge! How do you dare do this?”
“Because I know how to do it, and he will never find out!”
“I’m not sure about getting involved with this,” Jane commented. “But I’ll come to see what it’s all about. I’ll be over soon.”
They hung up.
It was almost exactly twenty minutes on the dot when Jane arrived to Professor Hardisty’s office. She opened the door and walked in. She was dressed in a tan pilot’s uniform, complete with helmet, goggles, and earphones. Fred was sitting at a console. There were instruments and dials on the desk in front of him.
Fred and Jane had been engaged for several months. They kissed their hellos. There was a chair besides the one where Fred was sitting. She sat in it and stared at the instruments. “What’s this all about?” she asked.
“This will amaze you,” he began. “Professor Hardisty has developed a magnetic field like one never seen before. It is capable of encapsulating the entire Earth! This comes with a propulsion system the likes of which cannot even be imagined!”
“Wait,” interrupted Jane. “Exactly what do you mean by what you’re saying?”
“I know it’s unbelievable! This field is like a gigantic hand. It grips the entire world and allows Earth to be maneuvered as the dials on this console direct. Listen to this: we, here, now, will move this planet!”
“You can’t mean that! said Jane. “You’re speaking figuratively, aren’t you? You’re referring to something like what Archimedes said about moving the Earth with a lever.”
“No, it’s for real! It’s for real! Professor Hardisty is explaining it all to a group of scientists in the conference room. After he has finished he will be coming back and I will be helping him with a demonstration! We have two hours, at least, that you and I can try the system first!”
“You’re out of your mind, Fred!” exclaimed Jane. “He trusted you not to touch anything. You’re betraying his trust! I don’t want any part of this.”
“I’m not betraying anyone! I’m not! I’m simply taking an opportunity that may never again be available to me.”
“I won’t let you . . .” she began, but never finished her sentence. He had pushed the Start button.
Lights began to flash. Displays appeared on a large screen. There was no feeling of motion, but there were unmistakable signs on the screen that the room in which they were in, was rising into space at a tremendous rate.
“What’s happening? Tell me what’s happening, Fred!”
“The entire Earth is rising from where it was,” shouted Fred excitedly. “Our rate of climb is hundreds of times the speed of light. We are no longer were we were in the solar system. If you look at the screen, you’ll see the stars moving! But, they are not stars that are moving! We are doing the moving relative to them. We can go anywhere we want in a very short period of time. Where do you want to go! To Venus, Mars, Jupiter? It will take only a few minutes to get there. Then we can return to where we were!”
“Fred, what you’re saying cannot be happening. It’s impossible! You’re endangering the entire world.”
“I’ve been with Professor Hardisty for months,” said Fred. “I know what I’m doing! I’m turning Earth in the direction of Mars. Do you see that dot of light? That’s Mars. We’ll circle once then retrace our steps and arrive back where we were, and no one will ever know the difference, except us!”
Stunned, Jane sat in her chair as immovable as a statue. The distant light began to get larger and larger. Within a few minutes, it became clear that this was, indeed, the planet Mars that they were approaching!
Suddenly Mars began moving towards them!
“Fred, it’s moving. Mars, it is moving toward us at a fantastic speed. Look how large it is getting so quickly!”
“I hadn’t expected this! cried out, Fred. I don’t know what to do!”
“I’ll take command,” shouted Jane. “Do what I say! Reverse direction! Head for the sun!”
“I don’t know if I should,” yelled Fred. “That’ll make things worse!”
“Do it!” Jane’s voice filled the room. He obeyed the command.
“Mars is very close,” shouted Jane. “It’s chasing us. We don’t know its intentions! As we race toward the sun the two planets will begin getting warmer, then hotter and hotter. Mars is smaller than Earth so Mars should get intolerably hot sooner than Earth, and give up the chase. Go as fast as you can!”
The tactic worked! Mars turned and headed in the direction from which it had come.
“Take us back to where we were,” said Jane calmly.
Several minutes later, planet Earth had resumed his former place in the solar system. “Thank you, for what you did!” said Fred. “You knew exactly what needed to be done!”
“You had told me to put on my pilot’s uniform,” responded Jane. “I needed to play the part. Besides, I had a license to fly and far more experience, with a Piper Cub, than you, with the entire Earth.”
The door opened and Professor Hardisty walked into the room. He appeared haggard. “Hello Fred,” he said. The scientists decided that we should not do the experiment we had planned. It’s too dangerous! The meeting broke up early. The room we were in was getting, first cold, then hot, and the air conditioning didn’t seem to know what to do. I’m glad you were here taking care of the equipment. Jane, I see you you’ve been keeping Fred company. That was a good thing. Did anything unusual happen, Fred?
“Nothing worth mentioning,” responded Fred. “You’re right that it was good that Jane was with me. I gained a great deal of respect for her during the time that she was here. She has a far wiser head on her shoulders than I have.”
“Now, that we are not going to be working on the Earth project, I think we can start on the question of whether there is life on Mars,” observed the professor
“I don’t believe it will be necessary to do that, Professor,” commented Fred. “I have a strong feeling that there, definitely, is life on Mars!”