Leap of Science

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--- Greg ---

"All systems Go? You ready to go live?"

"Yeah, I think we're good. Lemme run the checks, diagnostics..."

"All greened up, let's do this."

On Earth, an announcer finished a dry joke and began introducing the next bit.

"We've got something special for you guys tonight, a celebrity that's garnered success akin to the famed Evel Knievel! Remarkably, this daredevil continues to rocket forward without a single crash. Whoa ho, someone knock on wood for me!

But seriously folks, Mr. Gregory Alfred Baker, a plain-spoken man with beginnings in Motocross Races and Movie Stunts is the man of the hour. Raised in Phoenix, Arizona, he grew up in a family of four incredible people. Both parents are successful artists and his sister is a popular actress. Now, at the age of 32, the man will be attempting the longest jump in history..."

During this last statement, the view pans and zooms on a display before merging seamlessly into a stylized representation of a trajectory shot, "From the Moon, Home! To the Green Fields of Earth!"

The crowd goes wild, cheering, because now the intro graphics fade and show that still youthful face of Greg Baker, suited up and smiling, "Hey kids, kiss your ma' for me." His voice is clear, a bit deep, "And hey world, ol' Earth, how's it going? Just thought I'd give a wave before my little trip. I figure you'll be seeing enough of me over this week, so I'll keep it short so you don't get sick of my face."

Greg winks, "Anyway, folks, don't try this at home, or any of that nonsense; though I'd be surprised at how ya' got the moon into your backyard if you did manage. A big thanks goes out to all the friendly helpers from NASA and the Taikonauts. The stay at Moonbase Orchard was great, don't go batty up here. See everyone when I get to the ISS." He smiles, genuinely happy and carefree, and the feed cuts to a long-distance shot of the moon. It zooms, closer and closer, then settles with its focus on the launch track.

It could still be called a motorcycle. It was precisely balanced, ran on two wheels, and had a finely crafted, heavily tuned engine. Other than that, it was kind of hard to determine what was going on with this machine. There was no open cockpit, and the wheels were train-like and track-based. Antenna clusters stuck out from the front and back with camera ports and sensory arrays that would make an MIT student blush. It was bulky, big, and looked like it should fit three or four people. It fit one.

Gregory was a very cramped, immobile, and restless one. He could move his hands and upper arms a bit, but everything else was strapped or wedged in. Across his home world, viewers glanced at screens or stared outright at the gloved hands flipping switches. His ride jerked forward with the acceleration of God's hot rod, electric engines in each wheel yowling like banshees. Beneath the "bike," a monorail dipped to the horizon. Earth would be coming into view soon.

The g-forces were maddening but the aging stuntman smiled into his mouthpiece, "Alright kiddies, time to teach myself rocket science. Here's that giant leap ol' Armstrong was talking about." Ahead, the end of his "roadway" zoomed closer. The rail ended in a slight ramping curve. Earth was a brilliant blue in the starry sky. Greg felt his body pressed into itself for a brief moment of nausea... And then he'd broken free and was sailing into the void.

Video feed cut back to the announcer's slick smile, "And he's off, folks! What you're witnessing is history in the making, a rocketless jump from one world to another, a leap of faith and science! Space junkies will know that Mr. Baker only needed 2.3 kilometers per hour to escape the Moon's gentle touch, but technicians worked out a perfect balance of speed and space so that Baker will reach his destination without too much of a wait and with a safety-net of food and air to spare. Over the next seven days we will check back in on Gregory Baker, interviewing his family and listening in as he speaks live to citizens of the globe. Until then, blue skies to you, Flying Ghost."

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