Saturday, June 24, 2006

SF Novel - Possible Opening Chapter

"Hey Dad," Johnathon said, "My astrophysics class is taking a trip to the space elevator in the Spring. There's 2 weeks at sea studying marine biology and astronomy on the way to and from the base station, and we get to spend a whole day and night at Smitherman Station. You can see the curvature of Earth from up there! Can I go? Please please please?"

Edward Staunton smiled bemusedly at his son from a leather armchair. He was re-reading a classic work of fantasy from the late 20th century entitled "The Wheel of Time". "Have you asked your mother yet?"

Johnathon replied "She said it was fine if you were willing to foot the bill..." and trailed off.

Edward smirked. "Unbelievable. You kids these days, you have no idea how lucky you have it. I was around for the release of Firefox 1.0, you know. That was in the old days, before the MeshNet. You kids can't even imagine the government telling you how to run your network. I prayed for the day I might see the Space Elevator turned into a reality, and now you kids are taking a field trip there! In High School!! I shed tears when the first one launched, you know. It's like Disney World to you!" Watching the pleading look on his son's face, Edward relented. "Oh all right then, how much is this going to cost me?"

"Only... $2000.00..." Johnathon said in a small voice.

Edward let him sweat it out for a minute, then said "John, I couldn't possibly let you miss this opportunity. Of course you can go. But you're contributing 200 hours of this summer vacation to a community software project, in exchange. Got it?"

"Thanks Dad!" Johnathon exclaimed. "I was going to build some new teleport effects for Google Matrix, does that count?"

"Only if you don't charge teleport owners for the upgrade," Edward said, and watched his son dash up to his room with an affectionate grin.

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