Some of you will have seen the longer version of this tale on my blog but it seemed a good fit for this week’s Six Sentence Challenge, with the prompt word of ‘junk’.
Harley had become stupendously rich and then got bored, and that’s when he hit on the idea of creating a new planet, Exotica, from harvesting space junk to create an artificial planet orbiting between the Earth and the Moon, powered by recycled nuclear waste that Governments gratefully handed over for free.
The citizens of the world marveled at the nightly light show of Exotica circling Earth, with multinational corporations paying fortunes for their advertising slogans to be spelled out in the heavens, followed quickly by a verticalised supply chain of space shuttles to the Grand Exotica Hotel, where eye-watering prices could be charged for hydroponically-grown vegetables, vegetable-derived T-bone substitutes, alcohol and, of course, the water.
The hotel’s Earthset Bar was always packed for the revolving light show that was Earth itself, where couples would share their score cards from the gravity-free golf course and enjoy chatting with the humanoid staff who could speak (and what’s more make jokes) in any language, with no need to tip for the pre-programmed excellent service.
However the most popular attraction was the day trip ‘Picnic on the Moon’ where guests never seemed to tire of being filmed donning those old space suits and climbing down the ladder and declaring ‘one small step for Doris (or Arnold)’, bouncing around weightless and planting a flag.
National Weather Bureaus installed technology that allowed them to predict the weather down to street level and the major search engines and multimedia sites established server farms and data transmission dishes on Exotica (although none of them mentioned the privately operated Dark Side wing that housed particularly dangerous prisoners under contracts with various Governments).
Now that no country could afford to sabotage or destroy Exotica because their systems had were entirely dependent on it, Harley started planning for Exotica 2 and Exotica 3, just as soon as his technicians had ironed out a few random bugs, including the weather bureau in Egypt predicting heavy snow at the Pyramids, the Dark Side prison pod doors opening spontaneously and allowing the inmates to mingle with the hotel guests, and people on Earth searching for gardening advice being re-directed to porn sites.