Welcome aboard this InterWorld flight from Newer York Orbital to Mars Wells Spaceport. Given the favourable arrangements of the planets and our clearance for a slingshot around the moon, our flight time is expected to be a little over five months.
At this time, we would like to extend a special welcome to those travelling in our SuperNova lounges, where we hope you’ll relax and enjoy our extensive range of bars, pools, saunas, gyms and theatres. Why not book a session in one of our private zero-G rooms? They’re big enough for two, folks; that’s one way to ensure your journey literally goes off with a bang! Or, if you’re after a more relaxed journey, grab a seat by the forward view screens and watch the solar system slip by while sipping one of our complimentary drinks. Our signature Great Red Spot cocktail is highly recommended!
For our MainSequence passengers, please take a moment to identify the seat corresponding to the number on your ticket. Your couch adjusts to be your bed and will be your home for the duration of our flight. A full range of entertainments are available for your personal enjoyment. If you need a cable to connect your brain implants to your couch’s output, you’ll find one in your drawer. Please refrain from leaving your seat as much as possible, as room is inevitably limited on an interplanetary spaceship. Note that your couch is capable of delivering a full battery of electrical direct muscle stimulation workouts, which we recommend you run through at least once a day.
We would be grateful if passengers in our DwarfStar cabins formed orderly queues for their anaesthesia prior to being stacked into their StasisPod capsules. Your cooperation is appreciated. Should you happen to regain consciousness at any point in the flight, please ensure that all sensors and tubes remain securely attached to your person at all times. Remember, they’re there for your benefit. If you do wake up and your body is paralysed, don’t be concerned. It’s just the effect of the drugs. Try to remain calm.
Our ship features no fewer than five galleys dedicated to producing the finest food and drink for our guests. SuperNova passengers can select from our rotating choices menu, meaning they can sample cuisine from all over the world and never have to eat the same meal twice. Our MainSequence passengers will enjoy our daily pre-planned menu, designed to ensure you consume a healthy, balanced diet throughout the voyage. DwarfStar guests, you haven’t been left out! The liquified nourishment pumped directly into your digestive tracts provides all the nutrients and vitamins your bodies require.
Finally, in the unlikely event of the ship suffering damage or explosive decompression, please remain calm. If evacuation of the ship is required, our automated crews are engineered to ensure your safety and comfort at all times. SuperNova passengers, you will find that your cabins transform into fully-autonomous escape pods in an instant. In fact, you might not even notice that anything has happened until you try to leave your room! Rest assured that your cabin is fully-equipped to sustain you in luxury until your rescue.
Our MainSequence cabins are also capable of detaching from the vessel’s superstructure and operating autonomously. We ask that, in the event of an incident, passengers remain calm and help each other to fit their oxygen respirators. Or, in the case of atmospheric loss within the cabin, with putting on the full-body vacuum suits that you will find under your couches. Your cabin contains sufficient rations of food and water for everyone to survive a prolonged period in space if supplies are carefully marshalled and shared out fairly. Please ensure that everyone gets their allotment and do not hoard, steal, or fight others for their supplies.
DwarfStar passengers: in the event of a disaster, your StasisPod capsule will eject your torpid body into the void, where it will be sustained by its MicroMesh wrap for some considerable time. Rest assured that, as you will be unconscious, you will know nothing about what is happening until you’re awoken on your rescue vessel! Please note that deep-space retrievals may not always be possible, depending on the ship’s location and the nature of the incident involved. As a precaution, we recommend that all our DwarfStar guests say their final farewells to loved ones before embarkation, in the unlikely event that the worst happens.
Other than that, please sit (or lie) back and enjoy your flight!
We would like to thank you again for choosing to travel with us.
InterWorld—your happiness is our business.
About the author:
Simon Kewin is a fantasy and sci/fi writer, author of the Cloven Land fantasy trilogy, cyberpunk thriller The Genehunter, steampunk Gormenghast saga Engn, the Triple Stars sci/fi trilogy and the Office of the Witchfinder General books, published by Elsewhen Press. He’s the author of several short story collections, with his shorter fiction appearing in Analog, Nature and over a hundred other magazines. He is currently doing an MA in creative writing while writing at least three novels simultaneously.