You’re hungry and you’re in the middle of nowhere. The morning walk took you to places that you didn’t expect. But that was the plan: you wanted to surprise yourself.
Well, you have. Look east, south, north, west – baking hard cinnamon and sand toned ground. Far away to the north are low purple and blue mountains. Turning west, you see the sparkling Bay Dome, so you think yourself there, specifying, downtown Palo Alto. Your bioworks connect with your wetworks and even out here, five bars are experienced. Your thoughts are translated into digits, which become transmitted commands, and the Earth Teleport System takes you to the bay area. In effortless seconds, you’ve gone from one place to another.
It’s a beautiful day under the dome in Palo Alto, blue and sunny, a little chilly in the shadows with hints of burned off fog. Electric cars hum along University Avenue but most people are strolling. Designated as a California Historic City, it’s unchanged since the early twenty-first century. Finding a Peet’s, you think, I’ll have a latte and croissant. The order has been placed before you enter the cafe and the systems direct you to the table along the window where your beverage and pastry await. A cup of tea and a shot of espresso appear on the table’s round surface. As you realize friends are arriving, they’re asking via your friendnet, “Can we join you?” Laughing, you answer, “Your drinks are already here.”
They port in. Hugs are exchanged. Books and art are discussed. “There’s a new art gallery opening in Mars New York,” Silvie says. “Want to go?”
Yes, of course. You’ve never been to Mars so this will be a special treat. Enjoy the gallery, have a meal, maybe do some dancing. Should others be invited? They are via the friendnet.
Soon, you have a platoon of friends, destination, Mars. You all port to the Interplanetary Teleport System in Utah. Signs direct you to the various space station and planet plazas where you can port yourself off of Earth to these other places. There are also teleport stations for bigger domes – Paris, London, Moscow, Sao Paolo – where stricter controls are required to visit these city states. But you’ve been to all of them, and the Moon. You’ve never been to Mars. You’ve always had a fear of flying, and as you aged, you thought, I’ll never see Mars.
But, wow, technology is amazing. So here you are, one hundred years old and retired, the prime of your life, really, off to Mars for the first time, at last.
All for just twenty-five dollars.