Garn the magnificent strode confidently up to the interplanetary portal. He was just about to activate the mechanism that would take him off-planet when he realized that his traveling companion was missing.
“Come on don’t be shy!” He called out to his sometimes friend Carol. “The beaches on Vega III wait for no one.”
Carol poked her head out from the convenient pillar she’d found to hide behind. “I hate to tell you but beaches, and other geographical features don’t really move.”
“Maybe so, at least on some planets,” he allowed. “However, I know for a fact that we won’t make happy hour if you keep dawdling.”
Carol sighed and reluctantly approached the portal. “Will it hurt?” She asked nervously.
“Of course not. It’s perfectly safe.” Garn said cheerily. “Though it may pinch just a wee bit at first on account of your molecules being torn apart and put back together.”
Carol recoiled in horror. “No one told me about that.”
“Relax. I’ve taken literally thousands of portal trips and just look at me.”
“That’s what I’m worried about.” Carol smirked.
Garn sighed. “Look we both promised Smith that we would pilot this newest scheme of his. Though with that attitude of yours, I’m not sure humans are ready for interstellar tourism yet.”
“Yes.” Carol agreed. “But I thought he just wanted me to help with the travel brochures and not to actually go off-planet with you.”
“Well, you know what they say. You have to write what you know.”
Carol sighed. “You’re right for once. Smith is so going to owe me for this.”
“That’s the Spirit!” Garn said as he shoved her through the portal.
Carol’s arrival on Vega III was accompanied by a horrible screeching sound.
“You’re fine, and you can stop screaming now.” Garn said helpfully.
Carol cracked open one eye and tentatively brought one hand in front of her face. “Huh. My fingers are all still here.”
“And so is the rest of you,” Garn promised.
Carol looked around at her surroundings. The sky was a soft cotton candy pink and the trees that lined the square were purple and sported fronds as delicate as lace. In the distance she could indeed hear the gentle sound of waves lapping on sand. “Wow. It’s really pretty.”
Garn smiled proudly. “Told you so.”
“Well, since we’re here let’s go to the beach.”
“Sure, but first things first. You can lose the mask now.”
Carol’s hand flew to her face. “But what about the coronavirus and social distancing?”
“You’re not on Earth and Vegans can’t get or transmit human diseases.”
“Oh. But I’ll feel so weird without it after wearing them nonstop for the last six months.”
Garn patted her hand. “Change is good.”
Several minutes later, Garn and Carol were sat at a charming beach-side bistro.
“Well, what do you think about your first trip off-planet, so far?”
“Well, it’s nice, but…” She leaned closer and lowered her voice. “The people are so strange.”
Garn’s brow furrowed. “How so?”
“Well,” she whispered. “That fellow over there has tentacles, our waitress just teleported and that couple two tables over is drinking through their finger-tips. Plus, the greeter just told us to have a lousy day.”
Garn shook his head. “Remind me to tell Smith that the translation chip needs work. Talonians always say the opposite of what they mean.” Garn sighed. “I assure you that everyone here is perfectly nice.”
Carol looked doubtfully over at the large, leather wearing Tralian mercenary at the next table. “If you say so.”
“Look at this this way. You come from a planet where your President pardons turkeys and you let small, furry groundhogs predict the weather.”
“Hmm… I see your point.” Carol lifted the glass that had magically appeared on their table in a toast. “Here’s to Vega III. Viva la difference.”
Garn clinked his glass with Carols. “But at least one thing seems to be Universal. I have yet to find a planet that doesn’t have a frothy pink drink to enjoy with friends on a beautiful day.”
Happy Thursday, Friends!