by Lee Greatrex
A man dreams of sending ordinary people into space but something unexpected transpires.
Paul Bailey breathed in a lung full of fresh air, as he relaxed by is pool at his luxury mansion in Beverly Hills, near Hollywood California. The 25 year old was the most famous actor of his generation and the young man was riding the waves of popularity, while it lasted. Except he'd found an opportunity to become the biggest celebrity of all time and something the actor had dreamt of since a child. They say, "Money can't buy everything!" Well that was until N.A.S.A, the space agency for the United States of America had let a privet company take the rich and famous into space. They would blast off from a privet space port that was located just outside the city of Boston in the American state of masseuses. When the news hit the internet and all the news channels, the privet space corporation were bombarded with phone calls, emails, faxes and letters all wanting to be the first none space person.
Paul Bailey knew everyone and he was the first person to hear this breaking story, so when the news of most unbelievable proportions hit the grape vine, the famous man got digging into every contact on the street. Well Paul discovered the rumours were true and anyone could go into space at the right price, so the 25 year old continued to search for the company who were allowing this remarkable feat. The movie star told his associates "release a blank cheque to these people who are giving away the greatest adventure in human history, to the public." Well before the man on the street was aware of tickets to the stars would become available to the wealthy and spoilt individuals, Paul's name was on top of the first list for blast off in just two week time.
The company who was part owned by the government and the richest man in the world, Austin Hill; he also owned all the movie studios in America. He was an unknown in the acting world, and his family had bought the very first studio and all the producers and actors paid him money, so they could use the only place in the world that could make movies. The Hill family had constructed many more studios over the years and made billions from hundreds of producers and actors wanting a slice of the magic celluloid. Austin had gotten bored and wanted to reach for the stars, he dedicated ten years into persuading the President and joint chef's to commission a privet rocket, for the individual with the right price and would fly them around the Earth once and back down to the Boston space port.
Well the president elect, when Austin first began completely hated it and told the Studio owner, "He was living in his movie world too much and the American people would never want anybody else but N.A.S.A and their chosen people to venture into space." This did not hinder the ambitious Californian's dreams and bought a company and built its own rocket and waited till the time was right for the next president to be elected. It took another 5 years for the democrat party to kick out the man who had slated Austin's ideas for space travel. The next man in the Whitehouse was all about making money for the American people and showing the world they were the biggest nation on the planet, so he went for it in a shot and loved all things commercial.
Austin couldn't believe his ears, when Rick Dickinson; the 45th president called him back and gave him the green light for the biggest privet endeavour of mankind, but they had to follow strict rules from the government if they were to blast the first untrained citizen into space. N.A.S.A had to be part of the organisation and would check all the equipment and if they didn't like it, the Hill space company would not leave the service of the Earth.
The day of the lunch was finely here, after nine long hard years of organisation from Austin and his team. The worlds media had gathered and most of the state of Masseuses too, along with a hand full of celebs. As the final checks were being made to the brand new super rocket, Paul Bailey was standing upon the runway with his friends and loved ones. He gave a huge hug to his wife of 4 years and his two children; iris, three and Starbuck who's 1 year old. His family were in tears and didn't want him to go, but were used to his absence with his constant filming commitments. This was different for they were scared for him and saw it was a dangerous mission and anything could happen to their beloved husband and father. The 5 foot 9 inches tall, red headed quiet man reassured his wife and children that everything had been triply checked and then again before contemplating blasting off in a space ship, with such a huge movie actor. Paul explained that there were two real astronauts accompanying him on this historic mission to the stars and back.
The actor suddenly heard a voice in his ear; it was guys and gals who press all the buttons on the ground, they were telling him, "5 minutes to countdown, so say your farewells and get strapped in please!"
Paul looked deep into his school girl sweethearts eyes and kissed her gently on the lips, and then wisped gently, "Don't worry Jenny I will be safe and we will become the most famous family ever, the first space tourist in the world. I have been dreaming of this my whole life and relish every second. I am so lucky in having you and our children and I know I make you proud with my movies, but this is real life and something that will tell Starbuck, his dad went out into space." The man of the moment bent down and gave a huge hug to his children and said to them, "Look after mummy and look out for me kids for I'll be waving to you when daddy is in space." Paul gave them a big kiss and said, "See you soon family, I'll be home before you know it!" He then walked towards the Hill cosmic space shuttle one. It was different to the slandered upright rocket, except more like the shape of aeroplane with five hundred thousand propulsions per minute, faster than Neal Armstrong's Apollo eleven.
The action hero actor climbed up a ladder on the side of the space vehicle and climbed into the leather seat that he would be confined to for the next 12 hours. While the technicians secured Paul in tight, the young actor made a heart felt goodbye to his family, from his window by waving and hoped they would see him. Two minutes later Paul heard Austin talking in his ear through a microphone and said, "Hope you love this once in a lifetime's mega adventure flyboy and take loads of photos for me please! Hold onto your seat for 1. 2. 3. Go!
Buckled in tight and ready to blast off, Paul had been mega excited to be the first none astronaut flying into space, but as the countdown began he became very nerves and wanted to jump out the space plane.
The supersonic jet engines ignited and Cosmic 1 tilted upon its back wheels, it then shot off like lightening. The entire gathered public were shocked and amazed at this awesome site, for it was the first new rocket since N.A.S.A had decommissioned the shuttle in 2012. The press, celebs and general public couldn't believe how much more quitter and safer the whole lift off proses was.
Austin hill was looking at his monitors, in the command centre that was several feet from where everyone was watching history take place. He was beside his wife; Ava and 15 year old son; Lenox, he smiled at then and said, "Well my lovely family I have managed the impossible, sent a commercial fight into space. I only wished I could have taken the trip, darn those Dr's in stopping me at the last minute. It is much better watching it with you and who knows one day if I get the all clear, I might go on the trip of a life time?" Ava, who had an immense beautiful complexion and bright wavy red hair, looked into her husband's eyes and spoke softly, "My darling Austin you have accomplished such an astonishing feet hear and everyone will want to pay you big bucks to have a wicked trip to the stars. Who knows ware this will lead, maybe you'll even have moon base and people will pay you to have intergalactic vacations?"
Austin gave his wife a large wet kiss and held her hand tightly, he watched again on the monitors at cosmic one's readouts and everything looks great.
Rex Murray and Taylor Downing sat in the control room of the new impressive space ship and plotted a course, out of the Earth and into space, then up to the international space station and off around the planet and back down to the space port in Boston.
Captain Murray pressed several buttons on the impressive rockets dashboard, while the famous actor sat fixed tightly in his chair, as the space ship flew higher out of the Earth's atmosphere and into space. Paul couldn't believe this was really transpiring and the Californian felt the luckiest man in the entire world. His dreams had finally well and come true.
Rex pressed the tiny red button above his head and the afterburners kicked in, which made the supper sonic engines return to a steady pace. The astronauts manoeuvred their home for the next few hours into orbit above the planet, and then put cosmic one into autopilot. Rex stayed in his seat and calculated the trajectory to the international space station, while Taylor went into to examine their only passenger and make the famous man comfortable.
Paul Bailey was trying to relax while looking out of the expensive space plans window, when the Earth calmly materialized right in front of him. The man felt as if his jaw spit open and land hard on the seat next to him. This moment in the young actor's life would change him forever, for the famous man was in complete ore and his home planet was a mesmerising sight. He thought to himself, "I understand now what life means! How guilty do I feel right now? I get paid millions of dollars just to say a few words in front of a camera and billions are poor and others are starving. Why don't we come together to make our beautiful world a better place? There are wars, murder and crime on every continent around the world, why? I am 1000% sure that if every, man woman, and child could witness the Earth from space, then they would put their difference aside and piece would rein for sure!!"
The Californian continued to bask in the presence of the magnificent planet Earth and all her spender, when an exceptional notion struck Paul like a message from God himself. The action hero film maker knew for the first time in his life what his purpose was, and he had to get back down to Earth to carry out his outstanding proposition.
Except before Cosmic one even reached the International Space station; for a brief tour and then fly around the world and find their flight path down to the space port in Boston, 57 rockets emerged out of thin air and began firing upon Austin Hill's dream's and sending it out of control and each other too. Rex was stunned and it took the 40 year old English captain several moments to gain his bearings and realise what was happening, who the others were and most importantly why were they using deadly force upon a civilian spacecraft?
These rouges were caring out a new space race, and every nation on the Earth wanted to be the first to send a commercial rocket into space. They all wanted to take that VIP on a trip of a lifetime; out into space and around the globe, and back to Earth for the right price. Austin Hill and his American colleges had beaten the other countries to getting an untrained astronaut into space, but the visionary had no inkling there was a competition to get there first, and that other nations had successfully built their own advanced technical vehicles to accomplish this feat.
Taylor saw a jolt of fire smash into the side of Cosmic 1, as the New York co-pilot floated towards his famous guest. The short man with curly brown hair, screamed into his communication device that had been sown into his futuristic space suit, "Get us out of here now Rex! Fly us back to Earth before they blast us pieces." Paul sat frozen and helpless in his leather chair and now more determined to tell the entire world of his plans on how he can bring peace and harmony to all human beings, for he too had worked out what was going on a few feet outside the mechanical cutting-edge tin can that could be his last ever home? The thespian screamed at the space man, "Don't worry about me Mr Downing, go get this sardine can of a space ship back down to terror firma now! I need to stay alive for not just my wife and children, but for the entire human race. I am blowing my own trumpet and making out I'm special with all my silly action films, no it's something real and important that could help change mankind for the better."
Several days later . . .
Paul Bailey sat in a luxury building that was used as a 24 hour news station in the centre of Hollywood. The comfortable studio he relaxed in with a nice cup of Earl Grey tea was rigged up as a conference room. He was contemplating those five eventful hours, when suddenly the most important man in the world walked in, along with the man who had made it possible for the actor to get his dreams come true and travel into space. It was Rick Dickinson; the president of America and with him was Austin hill; the movie producer and scientist who had created Cosmic 1.
The chief elect shook hands with the first member of public to go into space and said a few words, while the technical people made sure all the cameras had been set up properly. They also made sure they were working correctly, along with all the hundreds of microphones from the different news channels around the world. While the producers prepared their leader, Austin also said a few words to Paul, the second famous man in the world at that moment looked frail and nervous too utter a word. The 5 foot 1 inch tall Californian grabbed hold of Paul's hand and shook it with a tight grip, as he looked deep in the celebrates eyes with sorrow upon his face. Paul quickly reacted with a huge beaming smile and gave Austin a quick hug. He took a sip of water and began to reassure the man who truly put his endeavours into practice. The two men sat down at the briefing table that had been set up for them and started to chat, "I am extremely sorry for putting your life at risk Mr Baily and as a token of our sincerity, I shall return all your money you paid for your ticket into space. I completely apologise for my lack of knowledge of what the other nations on Earth were up to. Why do people think that everything has to be a competition and try to copy what genuine honest and hardworking folk try to accomplish? I just hope that those selfish and dangerous crazies didn't ruin your experience that I know like me, have dreamed of achieving since a boy. We can also for free of charge, if the whole retched encounter hasn't put you off space travel forever, we can offer you a seat on the next shuttle, and you have our word that we will keep you safe a 1000% this time." Paul grinned at Austin and tried to convince the honest man he was not angry about the perilous situation that had transpired in front of his eyes.
The actor put his hand on the movie producers shoulder and began to explain how the encounter had made him feel, "Listen Mr Hill I don't blame you at all for those foolhardy governments across the planet sending up rockets to beat you to put a member of public into space and try and shoot us down. I went into a space ship to the stars because of you and it Utley changed my life forever and opened my eyes to the purpose of what's important and how I can make this world a better place. If you listen to this news conference you will understand what I mean and how you can help and be a part of my Earth changing plan. You do not have to worry for I will most certainly not be hearing from my solicitors any time soon.
The news team informed their very special guests it was imamate before they go on air and should be prepared. Rick, Austin and Paul waited for the countdown till their faces would be beamed around the world. They sat upright in the luxury chairs and concentrated on what speech they were all about to deliver to the whole human race. A young studio hand counted down from 5 to 0 and the producer said in a whisper, "on air" The president took a sip of his coffee and began his short speech. "Welcome my fellow Americans and all those citizens watching around the world, I am here today with the scientist who created the space plane and sent our Hollywood actor up to the space station; The first citizen into space, Paul Baily. For the revaluation of 24 hours news, we are all aware of the events which took place as soon as cosmic one entered Earth's orbit that other governments on every continent had similar ideas, but got wind of Mr Hill's lunch date and followed them with destruction and victory in their minds. Mr Bailey has informed me that he understands why these bureaucrats carried out their reckless behaviour, so they could be number one. This does not way light with me and I will do everything in my power to get to the bottom of this international conflict. Once I have discovered who is at fault, heads will most certainly roll and will get an apology. I will now put you in the hands of the head of the technical team who envisioned the whole notion of privet space travel and sending a member of public into space; Mr Austin Hill. Thank you for your loyal audience and I wish every one of you a great day."
Austin looked even paler after that heart felt and grand speech and his mouth went dry and became extremely tongue tied, except the movie producer had always been behind the camera and rented studios to companies want to make the next blockbuster and then when he got board of that, got in on the action and tried his hand at making his own films in a couple of the studios he built. The father of two sons and three daughters, who were all in their teens, drank the rest of his water and forced himself to say the few lines he'd been instructed to by this conglomerate news channel for vast sums of money. The 51 year old took a deep breath and looked directly at the TV cameras and spoke in a direct but friendly tone, "Hello there, please excuse me as I am most certainly not used to making speeches and just a few words before I let the real star address you. I am overwhelmed that my desire to send ordinary men and woman into space for the experience of a lifetime has been successful and I thank my exceptional technical department for turning my dreams into a reality. I am saddened that other likeminded individuals with the same desire as I could use force to achieve their goals, in the aim to be crowned first to carry out their desires. I hope that Mr Dickinson; our outstanding president, and the man who could see potential in my ambitions, finds the horrendous villains who sabotaged my mission and nearly destroyed the new advanced space plane; cosmic one. I will now hand you over to the man who was brave enough to become the first member of public any ware in whole world to go into space, and to trust me with his life; Mr Paul Bailey."
Austin gave a sigh of relief and relaxed in the exquisite sawed chair. Paul surveyed the other two significant guests and wondered why he was the last to speak, when he was only a movie star and not anyone of significance, but then he had just pulled off the biggest public transportation in history. Yet the young actor felt phony and had only paid for a ticket to the stars and nothing more, it had been Austin who had dreamed up the ideas and turned it into a working company. Why was he here with these two important men, then he remembered his enlightenment and the proposal he was going to share with the world.
The journalists looked on edge as the famous man stayed quiet for several minutes and wondered at the man's actions? When suddenly the greatest actor of the digital age, got to his feet and the colour drained from his face and the brave man collapsed to the floor in a heap. Within an instant the whole studio went crazy with producers, directors, cameramen and other members of staff rushing to Paul's aid. It was the president who kept calm and told everybody, "Please give Mr Bailey enough breathing space." He then got up and walked over and lifted the first citizen in space to his feet and placed him back on his seat.
Austin looked deeply concerned for the young actor. The movie producer looked directly at Paul and tried to smile while feeling dread flowing through his veins. He sighed and asked, "You ok mate? What happened?"
Paul took another sip of his water and look around the cramped dark room that was full of recording equipment, and all the news teams awaiting his communication. The American suddenly remembered the cameras were still rolling and the whole planet was watching. He turned to Austin and said, "I'm ok thanks, just a little embarrassed to have fainted in front of not only the most powerful and important man on Earth, but everyone watching around the world. Thank you Mr President for helping me up, without warning I quickly received a nasty flashback of the entire rotten incident. It started from Cosmic 1 being struck by gunfire to hurtling back to terra firma, through the inferno that is the atmosphere. It all seemed to get a bit too much and my legs turned week and felt like somebody switched out the lights in my brain. I would like to reassure the people here and those watching that I am fine, just a little shaken up, even though I rested in my hotel room for three days before I was ask to make this press conference. As I said to our upstanding leader and Mr Hill I feel no bitterness and anger against those narrow minded individuals who carried out this violent attack on an innocent space plane. They were only being human and we all deep down are competitive and become first in everything. I would like to share with you a grand revelation that I experienced well before one bullet headed towards me. I was strapped into my seat and Taylor was approaching to check I was doing okay, when our beautiful and unique planet slowly manoeuvred past my tiny window. In a matter of seconds I was transfixed, and in complete ore of that what we call our home. It suddenly dawned on me what really matters and how we fight and squabble over such petty things. As I continued to gaze up on the blue globe it was if our lord whispered in my ear of a grand proposal to share with every man, woman and child, in the hope I can help open man's eyes to what's important in life; People and our world. I realised who was I to be sat in the supper advanced rocket for the rich and famous? I hadn't done anything that special, except had my face splashed around the world on celluloid because of saying words in front of a camera. I had felt extremely guilty for taking this special seat when most human beings would only look up and gaze upon the magnificent universe and see all its wonders.
It became all too clear to me that I had the power to change that and elevate people to the stars and witness the incredible sights that I had. I ask upon the scientific community and the governments to join me in bringing the human race closer together and dissolving war, poverty and crime and building a gateway to the stars. A Galactic Elevator that could send 500 ordinary people up into space and into Earth's orbit. They could stand on a special platform to view our planet, the stars and all the cosmoses astonishing marvels.
I advise we construct this monumental contraption in the Atlantic Ocean and that way no one nation would own it, but the entire population have access. We could assemble this historic machine on one hundred enormous oil rig structures, and the cubical to be winched to the heavens would crafted with superior materials that the NASA used on the shuttles. This substance is to protect the elevator and its occupants from burning up in the furnace of the atmosphere. The hoist that would keep it all in place would be locked deep in the sea bed and the other end secured tightly in place upon the international space station.
I know this one of the greatest endeavours engineered and will take thousands of dollars and infinite man hours, but I am willing to give everything I have earned into this significant and monumental project. I have faith in the human race that they can see the full potential in me and my vision. We should unclasp ourselves from money and the things that don't matter and come together as the awesome species I know we are.
Thank you for listening and it has been an honour to meet the president and if it wasn't for him giving Austin's dreams of sending ordinary citizens into space then I would never of had my incredible foresight. Also thanks to Mr Hill for inviting me upon his Cosmic 1 space craft and letting me be the first to partake in his ambitious venture. I hope you all like my ideas and come together and help make this a reality."
The news room went wild and Paul Baily obtained a standing ovation and Rick and Austin shook the Actors hand and gave him a well-deserved pat on the back. Both men and the people around the world were over welled at the actor's ambitious vision for the future of mankind and the next impressive public transformational device.
It took several years to construct the mammoth project, including some setbacks and a fraction of individuals that claimed it was an abomination to this and that. They tried to sabotage The Galactic Elevator before it reached its grand potential. However a strong security presence was in force and the entire development was achieved without any hitches, in just 3 years. As it was Paul Bailey's dream and Austin Hill who gave him the footing to see that potential, despite the dangerous outcome at the time. They including the president were included as the first to take the leap of faith and transport to the stars in this impressive elevation machine with 500 people from different corners of the planet.
The launch day arrived and billions watched on T.V throughout the world and hundreds gathered on ships to witness the impossible. It became known as one of the most significant times in human history. The people entered the strong clear Perspex lift and it slowly began to transport the occupants up into orbit. This would take several hours but once this was achieved. The outcome would be breath-taking. In time, when every man woman and child had taken to the stars in Paul's gateway, his vision was everlasting and the light came back into all humans. More Elevators were constructed in other countries, but this did not affect the piece and serenity that had bestowed upon society.
On that fist launch as the 500 people marvelled in the delights of the Elevator and their home from space, hiding behind the moon were the first alien visitors and they had been take close attention to mankind's achievements over the years. They were from a distant galaxy in the Andromeda constellation. They were so thrilled with the compliments of Paul Bailey, Austin Hill and Rick Dickinson that they transported the 3 of them into their spaceship to congratulate them in person.
The people from another world were that impressed that they concluded their visit with a tour of the Milky Way galaxy, and the 3 visionaries were astounded by the marvels of the universe that they wanted to build Galactic Elevator's from the Earth to the other worlds.