Chapter 34: There It Was, Gone

To the editor of Madazine

Dear Sir,

I feel you might be interested to learn of an astonishing experience I have had. My reason for contacting your organ rather than any other is that I have had much pleasure from reading Madazine. Not only that but my astounding adventure was made possible by my conflating two things I found in your pages, namely certain technical aspects of the work of Professor Jopp and a comment made by the galactonaut, Dweedles. The former inspired me to produce a spaceship able to achieve Earth escape velocity with minimum effort, while the latter steered me towards the concept of tachyons, which until my exploit were regarded as only theoretical particles, moving at exclusively superluminary speeds.

Working with a range of simple everyday materials, I constructed a spaceship which I call the Tachycraft. I launched the vessel in secret and quickly got away from the Earth’s gravitational pull. After adroitly adjusting my controls, I found to my gratification that I was in the tachyonic world, where I discovered that one can travel any speed one likes, so long as it is faster than light. There is no need to resort to the spacewarps so beloved of science-fiction writers.

My objective was to visit a star I had spotted in a galaxy 5 billion* light-years from us. I calculated that this body was about six times as massive as the Sun. I got to my destination in what seemed like no time but was astonished to note that the star I sought wasn’t there, nor was the rest of the galaxy in which I had first seen it. I returned to the Earth very disappointed.

I am not prepared to divulge any technical details, either about the Tachycraft or my navigational methods, but I do feel that the world needs to know that our so-called cosmologists are clearly wrong in telling us where celestial bodies are located. It is high time for these supposed experts to return to their drawing boards and make greater efforts to get their figures right, in order to avoid more pointless journeys like the one I undertook. I feel that publication of this letter in Madazine might be helpful to other pioneers in the field of space travel.

Yours sincerely,

Hanno Magellan

* Please note that in the interests of wide understanding, I am employing this term in its currently most widely used sense, meaning one thousand million. I do not approve of this, but accept that I am now in a minority. I believe the point has been touched on elsewhere in Madazine.

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