The Society for Interplanetary Travel held its first annual convention in Kochi in India. Its president Mr.Forsstrom of Iceland spoke after a few formalities. He began by saying “This is the first meeting of our Society and begins with the theme of perils of interplanetary travel. The usual dangers of travel in rockets in space are known. However there are even more dangers of travelling in planets new to us. Many of us who have the hobby of interplanetary travel will know we can face many hazards while exposed to unknown environments. We’ve all heard of Dr.Harold Adamczyk from the USA who is the mogul of pharmaceuticals and immunology products. He has pioneered interplanetary travel using his own finances. He travelled to Gaia 2 which is a second earth, lagging behind us by almost 700 years. He is 60 and is here with us. In the first session of this convention Adamczyk will tell us about what he had experienced on that planet. He has also kindly agreed to answer questions of members after his speech.” Dr.Adamczyk started his speech rightaway:
Thank you Mr.Forsstrom for introducing me. Travel has always been my hobby. I have travelled most of earth and longed to go on an interplanetary journey. I could finance the trip out of my own resources. When the spaceship was ready and its pilot Ustenko had tried it out, I set off on the journey to Gaia2. Ladies and gentlemen as you all know space travel is risky considering the hazards to be faced. However top class engineering made my vehicle completely safe. I had the Universal Translation Machine which would make me understand what was said in the vernacular and which could in turn convert what I spoke in English into the vernacular. I had opted to land on Gaia2 in a tropical region somewhat like Mexico.
I could find my way and soon I was at the house of a chief of the natives (men and women) who were only clothed waist down. I found it convenient and dressed likewise. The chief allotted me a house to stay in and appointed a young woman Maya to cook for me. I was made to feel very comfortable. The native food though alien to taste, was quite palatable and I had also the option to make my own dishes with native ingredients. There were lots of fruits and I was happy to partake of them. Maya was very talkative and she would speak to me about the region where I was which was called Enguru. She gave me details of the place and the traditions of the natives. The mode of travel there was by buggies drawn by men or drawn by horses. I remained in Enguru 2 weeks.
A couple of days after my arrival, Maya told me about what she called the Glorious Pool. Taking a dip in it would render a man become years younger while women wouldn’t be affected. She said “It’s a banned area as men change to youth and are no longer recognisable. It can happen only once to a man, and further dips in the pool would have no effect.”
I asked “Where’s this pool?”
She said “It is far away. I’ve heard it would take 2 days by a horse drawn buggy to reach the place called Batu.”
I thought she was telling me a tall story and decided to visit Batu. Maya pleaded with me not to go there but my mind as a medico was made up. How could a dip in a pool give youth to someone? It was absurd! The chief arranged for a horse drawn buggy to take me to Batu. Maya had never been there and requested me to allow her to travel with me. I consented and she collected details of the route to be taken and of cooking provisions to be carried. She would drive the buggy. There was no road and we went along through a forest. I asked Maya if there were no wild beasts in that area. She said “I’ve heard that beyond Batu there were dense forests and wild beasts abound there.” She showed me a long knife that was under the buggy which she would use if animals came at us. She had been told that normally wild beasts weren’t found on our way. She said “More than beasts they say it’s dangerous for men to enter the water of the Glorious Pool. I don’t know what it would do to people from afar like you.” I merely shrugged.
Reaching Batu in the evening we camped in an empty shack nearby. I saw the pool the size of a football ground. The water appeared clean. I said “I’m determined to take a dip. I’ll do it tomorrow morning.”
She said “The water is inviting. I’ll also join you.”
We stayed in the shack where Maya cooked for us. It felt strange to me to perform my excretions in a primitive way unlike in the USA. The next morning, Maya and I were at the pool. She said “I can swim well. So don’t be worried about me.”
Not having any swim wear I removed the skirt like garment around me and entered the water. While doing so I slipped and hurt myself a little in a place normally unseen. I spent some time in the water smelling it and so on but there was nothing extraordinary about it. In moments in the water I felt myself growing: What had shrunk or thinned because of age was coming normal again! I felt young. I had a lot more hair on my head. I felt the transformation in my wanting to go after women. I came out of the water and pulled on my dress. I drew on my UTM and heard the sudden exclamation of surprise from Maya who said “You’ve been transformed.”
She was dripping wet with the wet garment round her waist. She said “You won’t be recognized.”
“True. I’ve seen for myself what the pool can do to me.”
“When do we get back?”
“Let us spend at least two more days here.”
For the next two days we cavorted in the water.
We left as programmed and were back in Enguru. The chief said “I could recognize you only because you had left with Maya and she’s back with you. I hope you like the transformation.” I nodded.
I returned on schedule and was back in my home. My wife looked astonished. She said “You look the same as in your fotos before we were married. Beside you I look a hag! I don’t want to live with you. I’m applying for a divorce.”
That was how Esther Meyer the superstar of Hollywood once, divorced me. I’m now open to questions.”
A hand shot up and said “I’m John Mills. I’ve a personal question. You were with half dressed Maya. Did the association go further than what you said?”
Adamczyk said “No. I thought you would ask me about Gaia2.”
“I’m Carla Moore. Did the transformation only take place physically? That means you weren’t tempted.”
“You’re on the same track as John Mills. I do feel vigorous in keeping with the transformed age.”
“I’m Linda Newman. I’m sure Maya saw the injured part. What did she say on seeing it?”
“It happened two days later when she said the skin seems to be peeling. It’s a straight answer to your question.”
“I’m Darlene Endecott. You turned young and there were a number of half clad women around you. It’s difficult to believe that you didn’t give way to temptation. You’re no saint.”
“Agreed. I was conscious of my social responsibility. Any contact could’ve results. Gaia2 is evolving and I couldn’t interfere in the evolution.”
“You’re saying you had no access to what was required.”
“I’m Barbara Knowlton. Would you not have liked to stay on in Gaia2?”
“No. I had my wife in Chicago and wanted to be back with her.”
“Now that she has divorced you would you not like to be in Gaia2?”
“Why be with strangers? I’m sad that Esther has divorced me. I’m now looking to find a suitable woman to marry on earth. I didn’t have children with Esther. Now that I’m young I’m hoping to have children.”
“No further questions?”
“I’m Juanita Harwood. Your experience possibly makes all women and men wish they could bathe in the Glorious Pool and be transformed. May be Gaia2 has another pool for transforming women. I would urge further exploration of Gaia2.”
Forsstrom thanked the participants and that session ended.