Spaceman: A Misadventure

A myth tends to be a narrative from so long ago in the past that no one cares if it’s true. This is like a myth but this story is set way in the future that the same indifference is given to its factuality. That may sound confusing but just go with it.

Brent Miller was a man full of unfulfilled potential, which is pretty much the worst sort of potential to have. A father of none, friend to few, and working a loathsome job. Even he wondered the point to his existence, with no convincing answer to date.

Maybe this internal struggle was the reason Brent was ready to take such a big risk, or maybe he was just naïve. We’ll never know.

The advert read: Are you a pioneer? Are you tired of the mundane routine of this exploited planet? Do you want to be the first to exploit a new planet? Come Mine for Natural Water with us at Hoccus Poccus Mining. Just go with it!

poster-of-hoccus-poccus

Any sane individual would have walked on by, but Brent was fed up. Fed up with the mundane routines and the barren planet with its polluted water sources. Several hundred years ago, a safe way to create water had been developed. Despite it not having the same satisfying quench of actual water, it was an acceptable substitute for a world running out of drinkable water.

A few days later, Brent is in the office of Mr Generocity. (Yes, he had his name legally changed, apparently, it gave clients a sense of “Hey, this man isn’t trying to swindle us, even if it looks that way”). Mr Generocity was many things, and generous coincidently was not one of them, least where money, compassion or general kindness were concerned. He informed Brent of a new planet that “had wandered into their solar system”, there was evidence to suggest the presence of precious resources, in particular, natural water.

Brent was exactly the kind of people Hoccus Poccus was looking for. The kind that didn’t need convincing. Brent was sold by the opportunity to start over, maybe use that unfulfilled potential people kept going on about.

“So, let’s just go with it,” he said, “what’s the worst that can happen.” -Never say that

***

Four months on planet Hoccus Poccus (Yes, the mining company deemed it appropriate to name the planet after themselves.) there was still no water. Resources were low, and many miners wanted to return home. But Hoccus wouldn’t allow it, they had to dig on, their lives depended on it.  Brent honestly didn’t mind it here so much. Things seemed better in space, it gave him a new perspective. It also helped that he had met people that made him feel better about his previous existence on Earth. He befriended a 53-year-old lady, who decided to join the project when her five cats had orchestrated a coup d’état of her home.

And the months trickled away, so did the company’s money. It became obvious that for them to avoid bankruptcy, they had to abandon the project. By the end of the first year, all official representatives of Hoccus Poccus (the company) had left Hoccus Poccus (the planet). Unfortunately, none of them had informed the miners, as they kept digging aimlessly.

Now if you dig continuously for over a year, covering every square metre (foot if you speak imperial) of the planet. You are bound to find something. And they did, but they just didn’t know what it was. Now, I’m not saying these people aren’t capable of surviving on their own, but if one of the prominent members of your union lost her home to a few felines, you should be concerned.

You must be wondering what it was that they found. Well, it was a long orange stick like object covered in dirt, with green lengths sprouting out the top of it. They had discovered a carrot. It should be mentioned that with the scarcity of water, farming which relied heavily on irrigation was eradicated. All food was subsequently manufactured from scratch.

This meant the group of miners didn’t know what they were looking at. Brent stepped forward, taking the treasure to examine it. He smelt it, but its scent was fogged by the smell of moist soil. Maybe it’s a precious metal or stone, but it broke in two when he pressed down on it. Without knowing exactly why, Brent bit into the carrot. He tried sucking on it like a sweet, but nothing noticeable happened. At this point he had to convince himself that if there was poison in it, it would have entered his system by now and have visible signs but he didn’t feel any different. What if it has a delayed reaction?  He wondered as he chews the delicious alien manna. Fortunately, he was able to point out that even if that was the case it was too late for him now.

One of the others watching him asked what it was.

“It’s kind of sweet, crunchy. I think it’s safe” he replied. “There must be more of the stuff here.” Grabbing his shovel, he found a few more. Some miners came to help Brent search and they discovered that there were rows and rows of the strange food in the vicinity.

“I have a question, just because it’s edible does it mean that it’s supposed to be eaten?” someone raised.

Brent pondered on it for a moment and smiled when he remembered something he thought wise. “We are all here because Hoccus Poccus gave us an opportunity to start over, right. And sure, they left us here to rot but it doesn’t mean they didn’t care about us. Remember their motto: ‘Just Go With it’. When they left, what did we do? We just went with it. So now you wonder if we should eat this food that we don’t know and has not been examined. Well, I say to you, sir or madam – I didn’t quite see you- JUST GO WITH IT.”

This was enough to rouse the crowd in excitement and they all began to chant “Just go with it! Just go with it!”  as they harvested the crop.

For a long time after, the merriment continued in the camp as they still had a sufficient source of Hoccus Poccus. They had decided to name the food after the planet which was named after the mining company. They experimented with it, processed it and produced hair products, facial treatments, health smoothies and many other luxuries they couldn’t afford on Earth. No one was sure about the actual abilities of these products, but…

…They were happy, so they simply went with it.

 

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