“Have you been to all those places?”
“Yes,” she said. “I have.”
“Why the different size pins?” he asked.
“Big planets and smaller ones.”
“Yes. Big planet, big pin. Small planet, small pin.”
“Yes, but I admit some of the larger pins are there because I really liked the place.”
He nodded. “What do you recommend for a first time client?”
“Definitely Planet 1377,” she said immediately. “You’ll love it. It’s beautiful, and everyone, no matter their origin, is polite and extremely pleasant. There’s so much to do and see. I suggest staying for at least three or four days. The accommodations are varied, so you can choose a hotel room, such as those on this planet, or you can stay in a floating bee bee, which is an environment unto itself. It’s a large bubble that is tethered to the ground, but not tight enough that you stay in one place. It’s a lovely experience. The beds are so soft and fluffy. I’ve stayed in a bee bee several times. You’re high enough so you can see multiple sun rises and sets on several smaller nearby planets. Some of them have more than one star so they can have two or three sunrises and sets a day. And daytime lasts far longer than nighttime on 1377. The food ranges from what you’re used to, to the exotic. They serve stardust brokes for breakfast and they are made with real stardust.”
“So we’re literally eating sunflour?”
“Oh good one,” she laughed. “And yes. You are.”
“Sounds like fun.”
“It is,” she said. “But, if you’re looking for violence, the best place to go is to Earth. You can choose your weapons and kill anyone you like. You can join a combat troop and go to war, you can rob and beat individual humans, you can join a religion and worship an idol, then murder and rape in his name. Everything you need to hunt, trap and kill is there, and no one will really stop you. Not if you are male, look a certain way, and have money, which, of course, comes with our premium package deal.”
“Can I be killed while I’m there?”
“Well, it’s always a possibility, but you’ll be well armed. It’s the chance of being beaten or killed that makes it exciting for some people.”
“There’s also Sea-42, which is a water planet,” she said, tapping a pin. There’s no land at all. You can stay on a large boat, or a raft built for two, or more. The choice is yours. There are few storms, since their weather is rather mild, but oxygen levels are such that you must wear a mask the entire time you’re there, and the food isn’t very good. The entertainment is poor, to say the least. Nothing lives in the water and it’s dark most of the time, since the planet is far away from it’s star.”
“Sounds terrible,” he said, frowning.
“I wouldn’t say it’s terrible. I mean some people like that sort of thing. They go back every year. It’s just not for everyone, that’s all. I’ll just tell you about one more, and they you can simply read about the rest in the brochures.”
“Okay,” he said.
“It’s called Versions. It’s a small planet but most everyone adores it, because you can be any version of yourself you’d like to be.”
“I don’t understand,” he said.
“When you’re there, you can be whatever you want to be. Not only that, but you will excel at any of the choices you make.”
“Are you saying that my dream’s can come true on Versions?”
“Well some of them, that’s for sure. But you can’t become a dragon or a unicorn. It’s in their contract. And don’t even think about riding them. Unicorn’s bite and the dragon’s can fry you, if you try. It’s legal for them to do that. Mostly you stay yourself, and just add new skills.”
“I have a lot to think about,” he said, looking at the handful of brochures she had placed in front of him.
“You do. Choose wisely. But once you travel, you won’t be able to stop. There are so many interesting things to do and see.”
“Thank you,” he said, tapping the papers on the counter. “I’ll think about where I want to go and let you know.”
“Our number is on the brochures. Please call and make your reservation whenever you’re ready. We also have people you can hire to watch your vines, or abode.”
He nodded, and turned to leave.
“Keep in mind that our tours provide everything you will need, while you’re away, even security, where appropriate.”
“I’ll see you soon,” he said.
“Look forward to it,” she said, smiling.
He walked outside and dropped the brochures into the fire slot. “Dragons?” he whispered to himself. “I don’t think so.” Then he got into his Zip and took to the air.
Photo: Javier Miranda