The year is 4583.
Eighteen minutes ago.
About this creation
“You had to go with mariachi music, didn’t you?” 9ruq88izll4 (pronounced Tim) asked. The acidic tone seemed to reverberate deeper in his pachydermatous trunk giving his voice an unusual growl.
“What?” Phat Mac said. “What’s the big deal? I thought it’d be funny.” His worn out fedora with its upturned front brim tilted sideways as he shrugged his shoulders.
“Yeah.” 9ruq88izll4 (pronounced Tim) said. “Real funny. Fired and set off world funny.”
“Seriously,” Phat Mac continued, “I didn’t think it’d be that big a deal.”
“That big a deal?!” 9ruq88izll4 (pronounced Tim) spat. “Really?!”
Phat Mac shrugged.
“Haven’t you read Sgaoileadh?!” 9ruq88izll4 (pronounced Tim) said.
“Sgwee-who?” Phat Mac replied, his bushy eyebrows curling in confusion.
9ruq88izll4 (pronounced Tim) stared at his friend sitting across the hole they drilled in the ice earlier that day. That day. That day? What the hell is a day on Europa?! A satellite orbiting a satellite with a time reference based on another satellite. Who the hell thought that time was a good idea for space?! Time is stupid! “Sgaoileadh, you idiot! Sgaoileadh.” he said.
Phat Mac shrugged again.
“Sgaoileadh’s Brief History of Humanity in Space.” 9ruq88izll4 (pronounced Tim) supplied an answer as if it would explain everything.
Phat Mac shrugged yet again, adding a sheepish grin this time that dragged his upper lip atop his right fang. The furry muzzle bulged on one side into a quizzical expression.
The sincerity of the last gesture sent 9ruq88izll4 (pronounced Tim) rifling through his red tackle box. Lures and bobs flipped out here and there, an errant surface popper stuck a zealous index finger. He plucked it out with a slight wince that curled the top of his trunk and then threw it over his left shoulder towards the debris pile. It stuck instantly to the gold cloth of the Wurlitzer after bouncing off the Ark of the Covenant. Under the spool of forty pound test, he pulled out a vid and turned towards Phat Mac.
“You need to keep up on current events in THE Consortium, buddy.” 9ruq88izll4 (pronounced Tim) exhaled more than said with a hefty dose of futile exasperation. He pushed off his knees to a stance with a generous groan of age then paced towards his friend with somewhat drooping shoulders of unadulterated resignation. “Pay attention to Sgaoileadh. He knows what’s going on.” He extended his arm handing the vid to Phat Mac.
Phat Mac took it with a bit of apprehension and timidity at his friend’s insistent attitude.
9ruq88izll4 (pronounced Tim) tapped at the icon of a brain sitting in an old Styrofoam burger container with the words “Fast Food for Thought” underneath it. The image of Charlton Heston appeared on the screen and began to speak.
“Book one: Sol system expansion/Pre-jump exploration,” it stated in a voice not entirely unlike Charlton Heston’s with a slight lisp.
“1957: The first man-made satellite, Sputnik, was launched to start the space race. Named after the Swahili goddess of bacon, its soothing mariachi sounds were transmitted across the globe announcing man’s arrival at something really, really big. And cold.
“1961: Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space. It was reported that he was sent to end the darn mariachi music coming from Sputnik.
“1965: Alexey Leonov performs the first spacewalk to finish the job that Yuri couldn’t. Mistaking the outer door for the head, he stepped outside saying, “Дерьмо, man, холодно в здесь. И действительно большой. Подождите минуту…” (Translation: “Sh#%, man, it’s cold in here. And really big. Wait a minute…”)
“1969: The culmination of years of threats finally lands humanity on a surface other than Earth. The first man on the moon, Neil Armstrong, mistaking the outer door for a broom closet to sweep up after Buzz Aldrin spilled his bag of pork rinds, opened up his Apollo capsule and famously said, “Sh#%, man, it’s cold in here. And really big. Wait a minute…”
“1981: The first Space Shuttle launched ringing in the end of getting excited about space. The public was tormented by launches, delays of launches, the promises of launches next Tuesday, the promise of delaying Tuesday’s launch, postponing Tuesday’s launch to Thursday, cancelling Thursday’s launch, rescheduling Thursday’s launch for next Wednesday, cancelling Wednesday’s launch because it was Arbor Day, rescheduling to postpone the cancellation of Tuesday’s launch which no one remembered scheduling in the first place, promising to reschedule the cancellation of the postponement…SH#%!!! Launch it before anyone realizes that was a double negative! This went on for decades until some intrepid entrepreneurs had more money than NASA and found that they could make even more money by selling the notion that postponing space travel could be fun.
“2037: The first space elevator was established off the coast of Ecuador. It was financed by those entrepreneurs that made a bigger killing by taking out insurance policies on their affluent, thrill seeking, slime molds throwing cash all over the place for twelve seconds of dark weightlessness then “accidentally” dropping them on Mexico claiming they were aiming for the mariachi bands. Over the next ten years, twenty three more elevators were built with the only failure being the primary structure due to the great 8.4 Lima quake in 2045 that sheered the moorings sending the elevator and its crew of twenty into deep space. But seeing that the crew were already disenfranchised about the lack of recognition for their roles in establishing the other elevators and the base on the moon, and the subsequent nonstop pirate radio broadcasts from their orbital platform whining about how they deserved more pay and statues devoted to them, and the never ending mariachi music when they weren’t yammering, no effort was made in rescuing them. It was determined that their food and oxygen supply would be depleted by June of 2047; and turning to the world of sports, some team somewhere won something important to someone. So there’s that. Go local sport team franchise! Yay.
“2046: First Lunar base/colony was established. Mariachi music was banned.
“2048: On August 8th, the first extraterrestrial human was born to Herbert and Moira Newsome. Little Alfred became an instant celebrity and was scrutinized and adored over his seventeen year life when, in spite of having rocket scientists for parents, Little Alfred proved that even off Earth, humans could succumb to Darwinism as he tried lighting a bong in the pig habitat on the outskirts of the farming district. In addition to the oxygen rich atmosphere, the methane in the enclosure helped give him and his friend Umberto a high seen from Earth. The price of stocks in pork bellies literally and figuratively shot through the roof along with a resurgence in sales of Pink Floyd’s album Animals.
“2061: First Martian base/colony was established. Seeing that they were much farther away from the Earth than the moon, little news or care came their way due to the time it took to send signals back and forth. Meanwhile, back on the lunar surface, the Moonies (a name they didn’t care for; however, in light of the other options of Loonies and Moonians, they felt it was the lesser of three evils.) took the spotlight. In response, the Martians protested vehemently and often cut into lunar broadcasts to express their displeasure. However, the fourteen minute, single direction delay of each interruption gave everyone the impression that the Martians were tragically slow mentally, and their irritation was met only with tearful laughter at the oddly placed, nonsensical rantings. An agreement was reached in four seconds to share air time when a Martian named George Matzos started transmitting mariachi music. After the twenty-eight minutes of music, the Martians agreed as well.
“2063: On May 18th, the first Martian was born to Harry and Mary Neumann. Little Albert became an instant celebrity and was scrutinized and adored over his seventeen year life… Never mind, just know it ended the exact same way with his friend Roberto. The Pink Floyd Trust was doing very well.
“2068: The sovereignties of Earth united. Kind of. Well, mostly. In name, anyways. There were agreements, promises, promises of agreements, agreements for letters, letters of promises, promises of threats, threats of agreements, threats of letters, and a twenty-six minute war between Liechtenstein and Switzerland that went completely unnoticed until someone in Oakland, California went to order a new gear housing for a Hilti SHG-3400 dual composite angle grinding hole cutter only to find a response in his inbox saying, “We are sorry for the inconvenience of not being able to complete your order for part number 784-983433-343-g due to the current war with the rat ba$+@rds over in Switzerland that think they control the world with those annoying clocks, their sh#% chocolate, and those goddarned stupid knives that you always lose the toothpicks! We thank you for your business and will… -Transmission Interrupted-” And so, the world united under one flag with one less country to try and figure out how to spell. The Moonies and Martians were absorbed into the collective without their noticing, but seeing that they now didn’t much care for the “old world politics” or Hilti products in general, they simply shrugged their shoulders to the whole affair and continued cleaning up pig carcasses.
“2070: A small pharmaceutical company popped up nearly overnight on the outskirts of Brasilia, Brazil with the slogan, "A Amazônia, que lugar tem tudo!" (Translation: “The Amazon, that place has everything!”) Roritora Pharmaceuticalia found cures for scores of diseases most notably cancer and erectile dysfunction. The company’s stock prices soared, the good will felt across the three globes was immeasurable, Switzerland apologized to the remaining population of Liechtenstein in the form of fourteen thousand crates of tiny plastic replacement toothpicks, Mexico apologized for mariachi music, May 24th was declared Roritora Day and was the first triple world holiday, and the CEO of Roritora, Esteban Del Esteban III proclaimed himself “Sou o mais mauzão, cagavam pontapés, suíno furador no universo!” (Translation: “I’m the most badass, sh#% kicking, pig puncher in the universe!”) The cure for cancer helped too, especially in the wake of the death of Esteban Del Esteban III the following February due to an overdose of his company’s E.D. cure at a Carnaval party of two hundred and forty three women and himself, and their stock’s resulting minor hit. With life expectancy increased to nearly one hundred and thirty years with certain bionic implants and youth extension vitamins provided by Roritora from their plantations throughout the Amazon, the populations of Earth, the Moon, and Mars were free to utilize the benefits of the E.D. cure to increase the populace exponentially.
“2071: Yoyodyne Propulsion Systems patents the first faster-than-light “jump” drive system. The subsequent tests throughout the following eighteen years were successful in depleting test pilots and expensive hardware. This fact did not however deter their attempts as YPS was subsidized by Roritora and the new CEO Esteban Del Esteban V after his father met a similar fate as his father in a similar Carnaval party with twice as many women.
“2093: Terraforming the Moon and Mars was successful enough to breathe freely in both atmospheres. The first breath came from a Moonie janitor named Philip who, while distracted by some contraband mariachi music mysteriously resonating through an amalgam filling in an upper molar, mistakenly misread the external door as a supply closet. On opening the door, the vacuum sucked him out into the open crater where he picked himself up, dusted the regolith off his coveralls, and was recorded saying, “Sh#%, man, it’s cold in here. And really big. Wait a minute…”
At that point, 9ruq88izll4 (pronounced Tim) took the vid from Phat Mac and sat back at his spot on the other side of the hole after taking a hefty swig of Malört. Charlton stopped talking as he was thrown carelessly back into the tackle box sending a steel spinnerbait into a lovely Louganisian twisting flip into the water with almost no splash.
“See?!” 9ruq88izll4 (pronounced Tim) asked.
Phat Mac’s head hung low. “I didn’t know.” He said. His scruffy muzzle drooped even lower in a pathetic frown.
9ruq88izll4 (pronounced Tim) just squinted at him while his elongated proboscis harrumphed.
“Honest.” Phat Mac implored. “I thought it’d be funny to blast mariachi music over the PA.”
“Mariachi?” 9ruq88izll4 (pronounced Tim) questioned with a hint of spite. “You couldn’t pick Reggae, or classic rock, or even Denebian splatter chants.” He paused as Phat Mac’s head dropped even lower. “Nope, had to go with mariachi.”
“I like mariachi music.” Phat Mac mumbled under his hat.
9ruq88izll4 (pronounced Tim) just sat there looking at Phat Mac for a long moment. He wondered if there would be any way they, especially he, could go back to the ABSinite factory on New Vladivostok. This ice rock sure didn’t have any future for either of them in spite of the flourish of activity going on currently around them. Dammit Phat Mac! Why mariachi music? He took a deep breath and exhaled a fully realized corporeal mist out his trunk. Why? He mused for a few more breaths. He realized that New Vladi didn’t have a future for them either for that matter. At least here on Europa they could fish all day. Who the hell can say that?! Just wish there was more fish than garbage here. Who knew it was such a dump? The few Snupa Crot they caught earlier weren’t very filling and there ain’t much nourishment in a worn out Dunlop.
9ruq88izll4 (pronounced Tim) glanced up at Phat Mac and their eyes met briefly.
9ruq88izll4 (pronounced Tim) picked up his rod and cast into the hole with a satisfying “plooop” as it broke the surface of the frigid water.
Phat Mac looked up at the sound and cast his own line in with a similar “plooop”.
“Welp,” 9ruq88izll4 (pronounced Tim) began.
Phat Mac looked up at his friend who wore his perpetual, cynical, sideways smirk under his grey toque. The pause took a full, long, single breath.
“I like mariachis too.” 9ruq88izll4 (pronounced Tim) finally said.
Phat Mac’s eyes lit up, he felt his two stomachs lift; an electric warmth shot through his veins. “Really?!” he said half excited, half unbelieving.
“Yeah, it ain’t bad.” 9ruq88izll4 (pronounced Tim) said.
At that moment, both Phat Mac and 9ruq88izll4 (pronounced Tim) got a hit on their lines. They instinctually set the hooks in tandem and began reeling in. Both seemed excited from the effort it took. Must be big ones! Maybe things were turning in their direction finally, maybe Europa had something to offer them after all, and maybe this ice rock also enjoyed mariachi music.
Fourth Wall: Okay, okay, I know you’re all thinking that I’m really not quite all there. Let me assure you that you are indeed correct. It was just what went through my mind while building for this awesome collaboration.