Vainc and Clari are about to celebrate their fiftieth year together.
Come Sail Away
The planet of Gouth represented one of about a thousand Worlds of Water. Gouth hadn’t always been a Water World. It all started for them several centuries ago when an evil organization tried to take over that planet by melting the ice around it. Instead of conquest they almost destroyed their world. The only thing that saved them protected the whole planet with a worldwide protective shield.
Now the Gouths lived in underwater domed cities. There’s only two ways to go between cities. One way to do it centered around the Transport Tubes that connect all the cities together. Each city had ten Transport Tubes that connected it to ten other ones. The problem with that way happened to be that it took time to get to another city – especially if it’s several cities away.
There’s sixty cities in Gouth, and each one had exactly fifty billion Gouths living within it. When the elderly died a child got born. Only the old died. The Gouths learned their lesson, the hard way, when they almost destroyed their planet. Overseeing all those cities sailed an Underwater Ship called the Gouth Government. Within that ship each city had five representatives. Working together they kept the population under control.
Just because a Gouthian resided in one city didn’t mean they couldn’t travel to other ones. They could even move there, but the balance of that new one had to be the same as the old city. Which meant if two Gouths moved to another city then two from that city had to move to the other one.
The Gouth Government didn’t discourage moving, but they didn’t like it. It’s not impossible to do but it’s difficult. Most Gouthians knew that and they didn’t do it. It didn’t mean they couldn’t travel between cities. That’s encouraged. The Gouth Express aided those who wanted to visit other cities.
Like the Gouth Government the Gouth Express travel in the water between cities, but in much larger ships. There’s twenty such ships – and each one could hold a thousand passengers. Those ships didn’t need a crew. It’s all automated – just like the cities. Waterproof robots tend to all the passengers wants and needs. Usually nothing much happened on those ships, but sometimes they did.
“Welcome aboard Gouth Express fourteen. I’m Robot One Seven Three. How can I help you?” That robot greeted all who came onboard that ship.
“I’m Vainc and this is my Mate Clari.” Vainc tapped his chest with his palms when he introduced himself. He pointed to Clari as he said her name.
“We are headed for the city of Jeams to visit our family.” Clari put her arm around Vainc. “We’re also going there to celebrate our fiftieth year together.”
“Your family isn’t all living in the city of Thome? That’s unusual.” Robot One Seven Three appeared to be a large white oblong box floating about a foot off then ground with a big light gray ball hovering just above it.
“Our son and daughter moved to Jeam with their two kids each several years ago.” Vainc had his arm around Clari’s waste too.
Robot One Seven Three didn’t say anything at first. “Six Gouths moved there! That’s a lot of Jeams to move to Thome.”
“Actually it’s seven. My son had a mate.” Clari started looking around the lobby of Gouth Express Fourteen.
Silence for several awkward seconds. Then Robot One Seven Three said, “You said you were celebrating your life together?”
“That’s right. It’s been the best of times for almost fifty years.” Clari answered that question.
“When is it exactly? Is it on our way to Jeam? If so the ship should know about it so we can congratulate you too.” Robot One Seven Three didn’t have any mouth, or face, but his voice definitely came from the big ball.
“Thanks, but the day of us becoming one happens after we get to Jeam.” Vainc and Clari held each other’s hands now.
A large beeping sounds began. “Sorry, but I can’t talk to you anymore. Our next passengers are ready to transfer up.” Robot One Seven Three walked toward a large platform that started glowing white.
Vainc and Clari just entered their Sleeping Chamber on Gouth Express Fourteen. All the Sleeping Chambers there happened to be the same. They had two Sleepers, that could be put together to form one Sleeper. There’s also two personal desks, one male and the other female, and two large comfortable looking chairs. Beside the Sleepers there’s two sliding doors. One led to a Private Healthcare Chamber, and the other to a Clothing Chamber.
Clari put their Boxed Clothing Container on one of the Sleepers, then started taking them out while Vainc went over to the male desk. Vainc sat in the small high back chair in front of that desk, and started looking through the papers there. “What do you want to do first?”
After getting their clothes out of the container Clari put them in the Clothing Chamber. When she returned she sat on the Sleeper – and knocked the container onto the floor. “What do you think I want to do?”
Vainc had a big smile on his face as he glanced at Clari. “I want to do that too, but I was talking about our journey to Jeam.”
“We have two days before we get there. That’s plenty of time for us to do whatever we want to do.” Clari padded the Sleeper cushion next to here.
“There’s a lot we can do on this ship besides that.” Vainc returned to the papers on his desk. He flipped through them for a few seconds. “You should like this. They have a MagicMan on this ship. He’s called The Grand Illusion because of the illusions he performs.”
“You’re right. I love a good MagicMan.” Clari got up, and looked over the shoulder of Vainc, at the papers. “Let’s go see if this is one of them.”