Marty’s photo of the day #2496: From my novel, Time Is Irreverent, in the year 2020:

“Can I drive?”

“I’ve read about how you human males always like to be in control. But in my society, pilots are chosen based on skill, not sex.”

Reminiscent of the big ship, the cruiser had a vertical cockpit. As soon as we strapped ourselves in standing side by side, the gravity eased, eliminating all fatigue.

Chrissie pushed a series of buttons, grabbed the floor-mounted control stick, turned to me, and flashed an eyelash. “Hold on!”

“But the door isn’t op—”

We shot toward the bay door. It opened just in time.

“Woo-hoo!” she yelled before looking at me and calmly adding, “I’ve been studying Earth interjections.”

I had been in space long enough that much of the novelty had worn off, but when the big Krichard ship moved, it was barely noticeable. This was a completely different feeling. We whipped past the moon, then circled back around it—coming in low, just over a mountain range. From there, we shot toward Mars, circled it, and did the same with the dwarf planet Ceres. Incidentally, I didn’t know all of those celestial objects by sight. A screen beside me educated me as we went, conveniently displaying a map of the solar system translated into English.

If humans were to travel to Mars via a NASA rocket, the trip would take six to eight months. Our trip, via the Chromosphere Cruiser, took less than fifteen minutes, and we weren’t even going full speed.