“Major Clarke. In light of reports about unorthodox methods of “relaxation” before space flights – can I ask if you’ve been drinking, or if you intend to drink before you go up?”

The press room was expectant.

Clarke grinned. “I’ve not had a drink since I started on this project, and I don’t plan on having one before I get back.”

The reporters clapped.

“Though, the joints I had about an hour ago and the one I’m going to have before I go up will be a great help,” he laughed.

The clapping stopped.

“Major…are you saying you’re high?”

“Are you kidding me? Experimental solo flight on a shuttle designed to test wormholes? Of course I’m high. What would you do?”

Cameras flashed again and angry voices started yelling questions.

“Irresponsible”
“Pilot Error”
“Think of the kids.”

The press conference was pretty much over after that.

***

The strains of Bob Marley filled the shuttle’s cockpit. Clarke flicked some switches and checked his readings, giggling while he did so.

“Rise up this mornin’, Smiled with the risin’ sun,
“Three little birds, Pitch by my doorstep.”

“This is ground control to Wormhole 1. How are you doing up there, Major Clarke.”

Clarke sung along, “Singin’ sweet songs, Of melodies pure and true, Sayin’, “This is my message to you-ou-ou: We’re all good to go up here, Ground Control. Co-ordinates are set. Everything is chill. Just awaiting sling shot to get clear of orbit.”

Singin’: “Don’t worry ’bout a thing, ‘Cause every little thing is gonna be alright.”

The shuttle sped around the earth, hitting escape velocity before firing out into space.

“Ground Control, we’re good to go.”
“Reading you, Clarke. Space folding in 3 (Singin’), 2 (Don’t worry), 1 (About a thing). Folding Space.”

Because every little thing is gonna be alright.

Clarke hit his switch.

***

“This is Ground Control. Wormhole 1 has left the building. Repeat. Wormhole 1 has left the building.”

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