Sun Trip

"Pack your sunscreen because today we're going to the sun!"

Daniel opened one eye and looked at Audrey. She was standing next to the patio hammock he had been sleeping in. "The sun?" Daniel asked.

"Yup, I've got the light sail ship prepped and ready to go," Audrey said. She twirled and the pretty sundress she was wearing spun with her. "I've packed extra water and a picnic lunch."

"I've never been to the sun before," Daniel said as he slid out of the hammock. As soon as his feet touched the ground Audrey grabbed his arm and pulled him to the teleport booth. They laughed as they squeezed themselves into a tiny room meant for one.

"Alesiricordana, teleport us to the light sail ship," Audrey commanded.

"Teleporting you to the light sail ship," the house computer said. Once second Daniel and Audrey were squeezed into a teleport booth in Los Angeles, the next second they were in a matching teleport booth on their light sail ship in high orbit above the Earth.

"I'm hungry," Daniel said as they pulled themselves out of the booth.

"Teleportation always makes you hungry," Audrey said. "Let's wait until we get to the sun before we eat, okay?"

"Sure," Daniel said. He sat down in one of the pilot chairs and started pressing buttons. "Beep. Boop. Bee-oop!"

"Why do you make those sounds when you press buttons?" Audrey asked.

"Because it sounds more dramatic when I make those sounds," Daniel answered.

"More dramatic than me saying, 'Deploy the light sail' or 'retract the antigrav and prepare for gravity dive'?" Audrey said, the laughter in her voice taking the edge of her words.

"Let's do just that," Daniel said. "Deploying the light sail and retracting the antigrav!"

Together Daniel and Audrey pressed buttons, turned some dials, and read arcane gauges. The light sail ship hummed as it deployed a mile-wide electrogravitonic sail, turned so the photons of the sun wouldn't strike it. Once that was in place, the ship vibrated for a few seconds as the antigrav was shut down.

The ship began to drift. A deft twist of a knob tilted the light sail, catching enough photons from the sun that they were pushed clear of the Earth's gravitational field. Once free of the Earth's pull, they edged the sail so it no longer caught any photons.

"Here we go!" Daniel and Audrey sang together.

Slowly at first the light sail ship began to slide toward the sun. As the minutes went by they went faster and faster toward the star at the heart of the solar system. They flashed past Venus and left Mercury in the dust.

As they neared the raging inferno of the sun Audrey tilted the sail to catch photons. Daniel and Audrey were pressed into their seats from the deceleration. The ship shook and the picnic lunch rattled loudly. "Look for a place to land!" Audrey shouted over the cacophony.

"Over there!" Daniel pointed out the window.

Audrey looked and saw a lovely sight. Nestled in a range of blazing volcanos was a lake of blue fire. The shoreline had trees whose burning leaves shimmered yellow, orange, and red. It was so beautiful it looked like right out of a tourism show.

"Antigravity on," Audrey said as she pressed a button.

"Beep. Boop. Bee-oop!" Daniel said as Audrey landed the light sail ship gently between the lake and the tree line. They spent a minute shutting down the light ship, then grabbed the picnic basket and ran to the door.

Just before Daniel opened the door Audrey caught his arm. "Did you put on sunscreen yet?" she asked her husband.

Daniel clapped his hand to his forehead. "I forgot to bring it," he moaned.

"Didn't I start this story by telling you to pack sun screen?" Audrey asked.

"Yeah, but then we ran romantically to the teleporth booth," Daniel countered.

"Don't worry, my love," Audrey said, pulling out a tube of SPF 1,000,000. "I packed a spare on the ship after our beach trip to Malibu. I didn't want you to burn again."

They sprayed themselves and each other. They then flung open the door and breathed in.

"Wow, that's hot," Daniel said. "Almost as bad as the heat wave of 2018."

"It'll cool off in the afternoon," Audrey said.

The two of them walked out of the light sail ship and walked around the edge of the lake. For the next hour they marveled at the burning trees, the blue fire of the lake, and skipped to the harmonic rumbling of the volcanoes around them.

"You know what would be awesome here?" Audrey asked later while they munched on sandwiches. They sat on a log that was only smoldering. It smelled of really savory grilling wood. "A lake house."

"It's not realistic to build here on the sun," Daniel said. "Getting materials and labor to build a house on the sun is going to be pricey."

"Sure, if you build a house the traditional way," Audrey said, as she snuggled up to Daniel. "But we could hire one of those log cabin builders to use fallen wood here in the forest. It would be just like what we see on television or in Big Bear, but here on the sun."

"Let me think on it," Daniel said.

"Take your time," Audrey said. "It's getting late though and the Earth is starting to set. Let's head home, okay?"

"We'll go back to Los Angeles today," Daniel said. "But maybe next time we come here it will be to stay. In a new home right here on this lake."

Last Updated: 9/5/2018, 3:05:33 PM