It may not be our future, but it is a future we can get behind. Travel the solar system on solar sail ships. Meet hard-working sentients: humans, canines, simians, and octopuses, plying our heliosphere for fun and profit. You won’t find any exploding rockets, evil aliens, laser blasters, or sparking computers, instead, you’ll find hacked comm lines, buried Luna casinos, pirates, dust balls, and weaponized beef jerky. And after your cruise through the Asteroid belt, Mars, and Luna, settle down on Earth for a party in the desert, they’ll bring the Carne Asada burritos, you bring the fun.
The ship was making its final approach toward port after what felt like an extraordinary excessive journey.
Tang looked up and did a quick calculation on when landfall would be. He thought: I’m sure there is time for one more hand before getting back to work. Tang slowly checked the dealer and ran his gaze across the table. To his left, Jorge scowled; he had, at best, a queens-high pair, Ginny had her hat pulled low over her eyes as the single, white ostrich feather wrapped lightly around the brim waved gently in the air.
Surprisingly, she was sending a message, but not the one she wanted; there was a clear sign of a bluff.
The edge of the Moon appeared in the starboard porthole; its white light eerily bathing the table, highlighting Tang’s hairy red arms. The ship creaked from the stretch of the lines as they pulled tightly on the sail for the final approach. The sound echoed through the common area, telling all on board that it was time to go back to work.
A grey shape appeared in Tang’s peripheral vision as the ship, swayed, tilted hard and came about, the light from the porthole now brightly shimmering from the blue, white, and gold of the Earth passing below.
The ship’s common area was lightly decorated as befits an H2LiftShip, where weight is more important than beauty. The standard plastic walls were overlain with bamboo paneling, the floor with lightly stained redwood and the ceiling untouched with exposed pipes over the dark plastic. Portholes encircled the area, but were seldom used since dark space and unblinking stars are boring, at best.
Photos, Earth, Luna, Asteroid scenes and a few modern paintings were randomly placed around the room, helped break up the simple color scheme. A small galley was set into the stern, and tables and chairs placed along the floor. Magno-plastic crisscrossed the floor and walls and was embedded into the tables to ensure that everything stayed in place at ZeroG.
Grey shape moved from Tang’s peripheral and resolved into his crewmate, Jack, who growled as he flew through the ZeroG cabin. He headed straight at Tang’s head, snout first, sharp teeth, mouth open, his blue and brown eyes glaring straight ahead.
Tang ducked, and Jack, now a snarling grey furball with legs, twisted and bounced off the bulkhead, shattered Jorge’s image, hit the table, sending the magnetic chips and cards into the cabin. He spun around, all four legs pawing the air as he floated away, looking like nothing more than a weak fish swimming through the ether.
Jack exclaimed, “Capt’n says time prepare descent...NOW!”
“Hey! You son of a female dog! I was winning” Shot back Tang.
Jack snarled, “Capt’n says NOW!
Stop try be Human!
Go Work Now!
You big red ape, not a Gam’ r.”
Tang thought to himself,
They should never have given dogs the ability to talk.
Now, these dumb-as-asteroid-dust canines think that they control us primates with their teethier-than-thou attitude.
Leave it to human scientists to meddle where they should leave well enough alone.
Gathering himself up, Tang spoke aloud, “Who needs to listen to a mutt anyhow!”