Monday, 19 December 2016

AND ANOTHER EXCERPT FROM 'REACH FOR MARS',

“Tell me Gorad, have you ever heard of and/or tasted Alcohol in any of its guises?” I enquired. Gorad glanced over at me,
“That depends, describe some of its guises to me.”
So I did until Gorad held up his hand to silence me,
“I have heard of wine, rum and vodka. I would like a glass of the one with the lowest alcoholic content if you please, as I am driving later.”
I made my way to the kitchen and made a coffee for Nick and myself to go with the rum as I figured he needed it and I knew damned well that I did! I poured a red wine for Gorad and carried it all back to the table on a tray. As I entered the dining area I saw that Gorad was being assaulted with and trying to fend off many questions from the excited crew. I rescued him, sort of, by handing him his wine and with a nod of thanks he took a large swallow from the glass, which was very ill-advised. When sampling our alcoholic products for the first time it is advisable to use utmost caution, we were getting better with practice but the use of the word ‘rough’ when describing the bouquet, taste and character of our red wines was still considered a very polite word to use.
Gorad was suffering bouts of coughing caused by his reckless lack of caution but managed to croak out these words between coughing spasms,
“Smooth! Very smooth! I think I know ........what you do with any............ extra methanol you......... find lying about the place.”
Gorad staggered over to the table and sat in the seat at the head of it while I was hammered by a fusillade of filthy looks from all of my fellow crew-members, except Nick of course. He sat happily sipping his coffee and rum with a beatific smile (and no sympathy whatsoever) on his face while he watched Gorad’s suffering.
“You really should sip it slowly, Gorad,” I said belatedly, “You didn’t give me a chance to warn you.”
Gorad’s coughing abated so he tentatively took a small sip slowly from his glass which only caused a slight hiccup instead of a coughing fit.
“Yeah, I guess that was my mistake. Sorry about that.”
He then stood up and leaned forward to rest on his hands as he placed them on the table before him. Dick interrupted Gorad as he was about to speak,
“Did you build this City?”

“I didn’t, but my ancestors did, and we want it back. So if you could pack up all your stuff and clear out by the end of the month we would very much appreciate it!”