“Nobody Gonna Take My Head — I Got A Speed Inside My Brain — Nobody Gonna Steal My Head — Now That I’m On The Road Again” Deep Purple, 1972.
Jack P Rocket-Man Chronicle, REV.11.
Jack P Rocket-Man is FICTION. No warranties expressed or implied.
REM: The Visitors gave you a test, a simulation, based on speed, clarity, and efficiency? They also knew about Gregory Johnstone, but they hadn’t brought him in. Why?
JPRM: Like I told you, he was a living computer — a One-Trick Pony. Plus he was a terrible liar and insufficiently ruthless.
That was good news and bad news. Slim, Karl, Gracie, and Angela: the mystery visitors from the Black Jet had let me join their team. Our mission was to change the outcome of the Year 2103 Problem, which was the ending of Planet Earth and its life forms by destructive subatomic particles from our sun.
Pretty Serious. I needed more coffee, one of them energy drinks, and then to call Louise on my cell; I might be a little late this morning….
I asked Slim what happened to the THT Airport Director — he had left the meeting; why couldn’t they use him instead of me? Slim nonchalantly remarked that Mr. Director was “too valuable,” plus he wouldn’t fit in the Black Jet, being nearly a foot “too tall” and eighty pounds “too massive,” which was an odd way of stating it — did I want to see the Black Jet?
Of course I said yes, even though they had just told me that my qualifications above and beyond attitude and aggression, were that I fit inside their “ride” — the Black Jet must be a sub-compact, and if something bad happened I was expendable. Angela did remind me that they too, were expendable — would I like to join them inside the Black Jet?
It was small, and resembled an EA500. If it was an automobile, it would definitely be an S65 AMG. I did tell you, that Black Jet and The Visitors must have been run through the same paint booth; they matched!
Gracie, from Engineering, filled me in about the Black Jet and what it did. It was more than a terrestrial aircraft. It was a time machine. She intentionally kept the theoretical science pretty basic, otherwise we’d be talking for years. It was more important to make a workable plan to save The Earth before 2013.
“Jack P, does your Louise understand how Cable Television works?” she asks. “Sure: work the remote control, pick a show, the little silver box is wired up to the TV,” I tell Gracie.
“If you told your wife Louise about coaxial cables, digital signals, bandwidth, and Internet Protocol, would she have a clearer idea?” she persisted. “No, she’d tell me to shut up because HGTV was on,” Gracie, as a woman, should know that.
REM: You and the four visitors went outside, to the South Runway? It was daylight by then, didn’t anyone else notice their strangeness?
JPRM: No, the entire Tura International Airport, THT, is riddled with passageways. The tunnels, stairs, escalators, and doorways appear and disappear spontaneously. That got me thinking about “haunted sites,” and how the whole idea of “haunting” became myth!
The Visitors weren’t unusually dressed: business attire, none of that medieval-tunic and contemporary-police-footwear garb like their progenitors in the Tower Scenario. Other than their matte-black pigmentation — unique — like an F-117 Fighter Jet, they were very normal looking. Attractive, symmetrical, really nice!
I pondered there must be less “diversity” in the planet’s future. And, with all those subatomic particles drilling little holes — the “green campaign” must have lost!
Gracie and I were establishing an excellent rapport. That itself was odd: because as a former Engineer and future Mental-Patient — Louise tells me — Engineering folks and I didn’t always click. I must have wasted forty years. Good thing there was still time to save the world’s future!
The Black Jet had returned. Sleek, smooth, minimalist, and graceful. How could it be otherwise? And, it was a Hybrid! Hybrids are not a recent invention. There have been motorized pedal bikes, diesel-electric trains and buses, nuclear submarines, et cetera.
REM: It seems strange that a highly advanced species, Post-Human, would be bothering with Homo Sapiens circa 2003, what was wrong with them?
JPRM: That’s the crux of the matter. The Visitors gained a lot, and lost something on the way. A quality that was already obsolescent in 2003, and even more so now. It’s about time you figured that one out.
First, though, the Black Jet. Gracie confirmed the power to mass ratio was tremendous, once it went outside the atmosphere. Inside the atmosphere, it gathered and refined Hydrogen from the air, it’s called Electrolysis, and used that for the local commute. I won’t mention that German Airship that caught fire in 1937. It must be a different kind hydrogen they used back then….
Next, once the Black Jet was in orbit, it switched over to Ion Propulsion. Gracie is an Earth Historian as well, so she explained that the NASA Deep Space 1 was the first space vehicle to employ the technology, even though it was unmanned.
Ion Propulsion is very spooky. There’s a photo on the web called Ion Engine Test Firing. It’s on WIKI, a static JPEG which seems to move, to shift. That “Electric Blue” color, it’s scary. Alive. Supernatural. So, they are inviting me to go inside a device that will either burn up or deliver me directly to Hell!
The Black Jet, up close, was even more enigmatic. It belonged to humankind, but a future version of us which, at least metaphorically, had answered the SETI Question: We are the E.T.s!
Unexpectedly small and light, the craft trembled in the morning breeze. Was it cold? Was it shivering? Engineering warning bells rang in my mind. Tell me I’m dreaming!
Gracie is nearly whispering to me. When my parents took me into that Catholic Church, the “Irish One,” they called it, at that little town I grew up in, they whispered too. That church smelled nice inside: of old wood, leaded glass, incense and candles. Maybe it was to Heaven they were bringing me. Not without Louise!
Gracie explained about monocoque construction and some metallic alloys I didn’t know how to spell. So then Gracie said, “Titanium, except stronger.” Like a child, I believed once more. Gracie was nice! She wouldn’t bullshit me, would she?
Gracie asked me if I knew what a “Water Bear” was. I didn’t. Gracie told me they were tiny animals that can live in outer space, at near absolute zero. How, I asked?
They dehydrate from 85% to 3% water, she answered, as we entered the Black Jet.